Flavourcon 2013 Atlantic City, NJ
10th Reading Flavourist Training Course,
Flavours of India,
Janis Sinton of Tastetech Wins
National Business Award.
Obituary: David Farmer
Obituary: John Landau
Obituary: Dr. John Patrick Victor Gracey.
It is with great regret that we have to record the
passing of one of the great stalwarts of the flavour industry
and of the British Society of Flavourists
Ken was a founder member of the Society and he, Bill Littlejohn
and a small steering committee were instrumental in the
inception of the British Society of Flavourists in the winter of
He was immediately elected as a Fellow Member of Council in 1971
and became Vice President from 1978 to 1980. He was President
from 1980 to 1982 and then Immediate Past President from 1982 to
In October 1984 he delivered the prestigious Bill Littlejohn
Memorial Lecture at the Scientific Lecture Theatre in Savile
His prodigious work in these early days, particularly gaining
support from the industry for the Gala Night in terms of
sponsorship, was nothing short of phenomenal and he helped to
build our unique Society into the vibrant organisation that we
Upon his retirement from the industry in October 2001 he was
elected as an Honorary Member of the Society, only the ninth
person to receive this accolade, for his services to the
Ken commenced his career in the technical laboratories at W J
Bush (later to become part of Bush Boake Allen Ltd) in 1953. He
started as a Laboratory Assistant but his career was interrupted
when he served two years National Service in the Royal Air Force
from 1955 to 1957. Upon his return he was promoted to Trainee
Flavourist a position he held until leaving in 1962.
He left to join Naarden as a Flavourist based in Holland from
1962 to 1963 then he came back to Naarden in London in the same
capacity. He moved to Naarden South Africa as Technical Manager
in 1964 where he remained until returning to Naarden Holland in
1966 as a Senior Flavourist.
In 1968 he joined Firmenich in Southall as Head of the Flavour
Technical Division. He held this position until September 1984
when Firmenich closed down their Southall laboratories moving
them back to Geneva. He was offered a position in Geneva but for
family reasons did not wish to re-locate at that time.
Thus he joined Lionel Hitchen Essential Oils in Barton Stacey,
Hampshire in January 1985 taking up a senior technical
appointment where he built up the flavour and application
laboratories. He also assisted the commercial team in presenting
LHEO products not only in Europe but in North, South and Central
America. As Alastair Hitchen so aptly remarks “Ken always had a
‘can do attitude’, a lot of energy and was fun to work with”.
Ken went into hospital late November 2013 for a major procedure
and the operation was successful.
Unfortunately, just after Christmas he picked up a chest
infection which was being treated with antibiotics. Sadly he
passed away painlessly on Friday 10th January.
His passing has left his family and friends bereft and to his
widow Nuala and children, Paul, Carl and Tamara, we send our
sincere condolences. Ken was a one off and will be sadly missed
by all those with whom he came into contact – who can ever
His anecdotes were legion.
God Bless Ken
He will be Lovingly remembered
The Funeral service was held at St Erconwalds Catholic Church,
Walton-on-Thames followed by cremation at Woking Cemetery on
23rd January 2014.
Only flowers from the family were requested at the
funeral. Donations to The British Heart Foundation can still be
sent to Fredk W Chitty & Co., Funeral Directors, 26 Brassey
House, New Zealand Avenue, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey KT12 1QD.
Perfumer & Flavorist (P&F) magazine held the inaugural
Flavorcon conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey on 18-19
November, 2013. This event was one of the few international
meetings designed by flavourists for flavourists. It is
envisaged as a biennial flavour industry conference that unites
developers, creators, manufacturers and marketers of flavours
and flavoured products. The aim was to address and develop
solutions for the flavour business and to discuss technical
issues shaping the marketplace.
The programme featured a mix of interactive educational formats
with practical sessions alongside more formal presentations and
a multitude of networking sessions.
Steve Pearce of Omega Ingredients Ltd, UK, was a delegate at
this event which he found a valuable experience. He gave us his
impressions, which are summarised below.
Atlantic City was within reach of many US based professionals
and a central hub for those travelling from further afield.
Being based at a hotel and conference facility which also had a
casino was an added attraction for a number of delegates.
The event attracted delegates from across the food industry, not
just flavour specialists.
The dates of this conference clashed with Food Ingredients
Europe (FiE) so one might have expected a low turnout.
The organisers were targeting 150 delegates and were surprised
to find that 350 people registered; this gave them a few
logistical issues but demonstrated the potential for such an
Practical sessions involved delegates in assessing the potential
of novel materials and helped to break the ice.
The regulatory processes of obtaining approval for new products
were examined and explained.
Idea provoking presentations by a wide range of speakers created
a stimulating environment for discussion and networking among
www.flavorcon.com for further details on the programme of
Scheduling of future Flavorcon events:
There was some discussion about the second conference which is
likely to be in the same location but earlier in the year so as
not to clash with other industry events.
The positive response to this event indicated that there is
demand for a dedicated flavour conference and it is likely that
the next Flavorcon event will take place in the first quarter of
I was very happy to have been able to participate in
the internationally recognised Flavourist Training Course during
my PhD. At the start of the course, I met the other eight
delegates who had travelled from eight different countries as
far afield as Venezuela and Indonesia.
Throughout the three weeks we built some great relationships
with each other, as we worked both together and individually on
a number of activities which delved deep into the field of
flavour science. During the course we gained a sound knowledge
of raw materials used in flavour creation, we learned about
reaction flavours and technologies used in flavour application.
A personal highlight for me was the creation and application
tasks that we had to undertake. These involved working in groups
to formulate crisp flavours from reaction flavours which we had
previously created as well as a free creation task which we had
to complete individually and present to the rest of the group.
The latter was particularly enjoyable, as we had the opportunity
to taste the rest of the groups’ diverse array of flavour
creations which spanned from Caipirinha, the national cocktail
created by the Brazilian delegate to a more modest raspberry
flavour applied to a yogurt. I prepared a cherry Bakewell
flavour in a milk drink, which was quite apt, as to my surprise,
cherry Bakewell was served as the dessert at our departing
Following the course, I was awarded the opportunity to attend
and disseminate my experiences at the at IFEAT (International
Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma) conference. I gained a
valuable insight in to the flavour and aroma industry through
this meeting, and learned a great deal both through attendance
at talks, with there being a vast number of themes focusing on
topics from sustainability to adulteration, and also through
talking to attendees socially.
Having completed the Flavourist Training Course and attended the
IFEAT conference I believe that I now have a solid grounding to
pursue a career within the flavour industry. I had a fantastic
time expanding my knowledge during the training for which a huge
thank-you is owed to the highly experienced team who organised
and ran the course along with the support from IFEAT and British
Society of Flavourists (BSF).
In November 2012, I booked
a package holiday tour to Kerala, but I arranged with the tour
company to fly me out to Kochi (Cochin) so that I could visit
Aromco India. This company is based in Kochi on a business park
owned by Synthite with whom the company is jointly owned (the
other interest in the company is now owned by Frutarom who have
since taken over Aromco with whom I am still employed). It was a
good opportunity to meet the people at Aromco India and whilst
there I gave a Powerpoint presentation on the subject of looking
for signs of essential oils in a GC analysis once the components
of the analysis have been identified by mass spectrometry. I
listed 56 chemical substances which can show up in an analysis,
but could be showing us the presence of an essential oil,
although many of these are also commercially available as such.
The ways to tell the difference is to ask is this substance
available as such? If not, then this almost certainly points to
the presence of an oil or extract, but if it is available, how
do we tell the difference? We look for other substances present
in an oil with this substance. If we can see it and the ratio of
the two peaks is right, there is a good chance that this oil is
there. In some vases, other peaks will be below the limit of
detection: what do we do then? Consider the odour of what we are
trying to match is the next clue. Flavourism is complex but
presents us with challenges which we need to deal with. Some of
the substances have many possibilities, examples being eugenol,
limonene and linalool/linalyl acetate. I showed tables to help
with identifying oils where these show up. Whilst there I was
also given the opportunity to collaborate on some current
flavour projects. Aromco India have business with both sweet and
savoury flavourings in the Indian market: India has a huge
population and is also the seventh largest country in area.
Pictured above: Aromco India's
technical staff with Brian Ridley on the left, and a view of
their modern purpose-built premises.
December 2012. Leading entrepreneur wins NatWest
Everywoman Awards as UK’s foremost business accolades celebrate
Janis Sinton, from Bristol, is proof that with determination and
focus, it is possible to overcome immense obstacles to achieve
success. Having grown her company, TasteTech into a
multi-million pound enterprise, today the 56 year old
businesswoman has been recognised as the winner of the
everywoman Hera Award - sponsored by Cisco - one of the
country’s most revered prizes honouring British entrepreneurial
A British food manufacturing success story, TasteTech is a
global pioneer in the field of microencapsulation, a process
used to protect ingredients and flavourings by using vegetable
oil or starch to encapsulate the product until needed. Founded
by Roger and Janis Sinton from their garage, the business is now
a multi-million pound enterprise, exporting to 32 countries,
providing solutions to food manufacturers that improve shelf
life, flavour longevity and product function across the bakery,
confectionary, chewing gum and sports nutrition sectors.
Janis was propelled into the role of Managing Director following
the sudden and untimely death of her husband and business
partner. Channelling her grief, Janis surrounded herself with
senior managers to plot the company’s future, setting ambitious
targets and empowering her team to achieve them. TasteTech is on
track to double its turnover to £9m, growing sales outside the
EU (with particular focus on South America). Janis has invested
significantly into R&D creating innovative new product solutions
many of which are developed confidentially with clients.
Crediting her team and family, Janis also attributes her success
to sport. Janis is a former athlete and competitive squash
player and believes that her competitive nature, coupled with
sense of fair play, have been key to the success of TasteTech.
The NatWest everywoman Awards are celebrating 10 years of
showcasing the diversity and phenomenal success of women
business owners across the UK. In the past decade, these awards
have raised the profile of hundreds of women of all ages, across
every imaginable sector, demonstrating the impact of female
owned enterprises, which contribute a staggering £130 billion to
the UK economy each year. The extraordinary achievements of
previous winners and finalists have played a huge role in
encouraging other women to start and grow a business.
Commenting on this year’s winners, everywoman co-founder, Karen
Gill MBE, says, “Over the past ten years we have uncovered
incredible stories of professional triumphs, so many of which
have been in the face of incredible adversity. This year more
than ever the judges were humbled by the extraordinary tenacity
and determination shown by the finalists. Drive to succeed takes
on new meaning with these women and the word ‘inspiring’ doesn’t
do justice to their achievements. We know that there are
thousands of women around the UK with a business idea and we are
here to support them as their concept turns into reality.
Today’s winners are testimony that with hard work and
persistence - dreams of enterprise can come true.”
Dave was a true Cockney, born in Whitechapel.
He went to work for W J Bush in Ash Grove Hackney (later Bush
Boake and Allen) in 1966 as a lowly Mineral Water Dept.
Assistant but soon became actively involved in Flavour creation,
working on customer projects.
He left BBA in 1970 and went to work at White Stevenson in
London and it was about this time he joined the BSF as an
Associate member. In 1976 Dave went to work for Bulmer’s in
Hereford - he moved into sales because you got a car! but was
soon to leave Bulmers and return to White Stevenson in Bletchley
It was during this time he became interested in Morris dancing
and folk scene around MK, as well as sailing.
He left White Stevenson in 1982 having risen to Food Flavour
Sales Manager, and went to work in Wellingborough for a short
spell (1982/3) at Barnet and Foster, he was then head hunted by
PFW in Perivale London.
Dave took part in the 1985 Fastnet race and in 1986 he became a
quarter owner of a 30 footer called “Anonymous” that was moored
In 1986-87 he became associate member of BSF council and then
Honorary treasurer from 1987 to
Dave changed jobs again in 1989 and went to work in Marlow for
Haarmann and Reimer. He rose to division manager and spent some
time living and working in Germany for the company.
Dave took up scuba diving in 1990. He grew increasingly
disillusioned with the industry and decided to train as a Dive
Instructor. He gave up a well-paid secure job, left Haarmann &
Reimer in 1994 and became a Dive Instructor in Stoney Cove in
In or around 1996/97 Dave started to suffer health problems and
after a few months of investigations he was diagnosed with a
type of lymphoma, which developed into a neuropathy. His dreams
of being a dive instructor were shattered.
In characteristic fashion he simply adjusted his expectations
and went back to work in the flavour industry as a self-employed
consultant for DC Flavours in Clacton and then at East Anglian
His health deteriorated and in January 2010 Dave was diagnosed
with Parkinson’s, despite this he soldiered on – playing
petanque in Bancroft (a huge passion) and started to paint in
oils. As if the Parkinson’s wasn’t bad enough, in November he
was diagnosed with leukaemia and died within 5 weeks. He left a
I was privileged to speak at Dave’s celebration at the Swan
Revived Hotel at Newport Pagnell in which a number of BSF
friends attended; we will all miss his infectious laugh and
sense of fun. He was a true gentleman.
John Landau was born in Clapham, south London. He went
to Battersea Grammar School, but despite being thought of as
‘university material’, he left school after taking his ‘A’
levels tempted by the big firms’ ‘milk round’. In his case the
firm was HJ Heinz & Co. in Harlesden, west London, and it was a
good choice. Heinz was sometimes called ‘Heinz University’ by
the wags, for the encouragement and support that it gave to
staff wanting to take further academic studies. Thus John took
HNDs and later a BSc in Botany with Chemistry ancillary,
part-time at the Regent Street Polytechnic (now the University
When Heinz’s administration and laboratories moved to a new
state-of-the-art building across west London in Hayes Park, John
worked in Food Research and Development. This gave him the
opportunity to be part of the tomato season team in Portugal.
There he met Maria, who had joined the team on a scholarship
from the Confederation of British Industry, and they married in
John enjoyed the food industry immensely, but wanted to expand
his horizons within it. Therefore, in 1972, he began working for
Bush Boake Allen (BBA), a well-established British firm, at
their site in Hackney, east London. There, under the tutelage of
Henry Heath, he found a world of wonders working in the
laboratory with flavours and spices and their applications. As
the new idea of technical salesmen took hold, he became one of
them in 1975, selling a unique textured soya protein called
Bontrae. This was in a joint venture between BBA and General
Mills Inc. His portfolio of customers was in the UK and Europe,
including for some time his old alma mater HJ Heinz.
His career with BBA was interrupted by a spell with flavours and
fragrances company Pauls &Whites in Bletchley, but he was
enticed back to BBA. He stayed there until after its takeover by
IFF (International Flavors and Fragrances), leaving in 2002.
After that he worked for Eastern Choice, a Chinese speciality
ingredients company in Wales. Retirement beckoned following his
spell there, but he was hooked again, this time working two days
a week for Japanese food supplements company Sun Chlorella.
Although in a retail environment, this was still John from far
back in time when he became a salesman: the lure of face-to-face
contact with the customer, establishing a relationship and using
his long experience in the industry to understand customer
During his time in the flavours industry, he gained membership
of the British Society of Flavourists. He became a committee
member, then Vice-President and President. In 2002 he was
presented with the Hugh Davis Memorial Award.
Apart from his strong work ethic, John also had an enthusiasm
and desire to deepen his knowledge whenever he got interested in
anything. Most of his hobbies and interests started in his early
teens: coarse fishing (sometimes ‘bagging up’ with the BBA
Fishing Club); music, mainly black American blues, soul and jazz
– which he wrote about on occasion for specialist magazines;
football and his beloved Arsenal, where he was a season ticket
holder. However, in the last five years of his life, he also
used his natural aptitude to start drawing and painting
seriously; his interest in techniques led him to many visits to
art galleries at home and abroad.
John leaves a wife Maria and son David.
John Gracey died 29th February this year aged 83. He will be
remembered by a number of us who can date their association with
the flavour Industry back to the late seventies when he held
senior management positions at White Stevenson Ltd (MD, 1977 -
9, Reigate and Bletchley factories) and later at Barnett &
Foster Ltd, Wellingborough (Deputy MD and Marketing and
Technical Director, 1980 - 1989)John
was born 28th January 1929 in West Kirby, Cheshire.
After his birth he returned with his parents to the then family
home in Montevideo, Uruguay. The family came back to the UK in
1933, living in Belfast. He studied at `Campbell College,
Belfast, achieving a 1st in Chemistry in the NI Senior
Certificate in 1946 and followed this at the Chemistry faculty,
Queen’s University Belfast, to gain his BSc degree (1950). His
PhD Thesis (1954) entitled -
`Physico-chemical studies on some organo-metallic compounds’
(ref.Science library QUB T//54.H18) was followed by the paper -
Gracey, J.P.V. and A.R.Ubbellohde `The
delocalisation of electrons in solid organic complexes of
J.Chem.Soc., 1955, 4089 - 4097.Following training in
the Queen’s University Air Squadron, 1946 - 1950, he volunteered
for the Royal Auxiliary Air Force 502 Squadron, Aldergrove,
Co.Antrim in 1950, flying initially Spitfires for less than a
year until the squadron was issued the single seater De
Havilland Vampire jet fighter (a twin-tailed aircraft).
He was a proud fighter pilot and was lucky to survive a
live firing incident on 10th July 1954. As reported in the local
press, The Times and The News of the World - “an exceptionally
clever forced landing by Flying Officer JPVGracey of 502
(Ulster) Squadron.” After 1954 he was transferred to a squadron
at Manchester, where he served until his resignation from the
service in 1956, when he started on his Industrial career.He
started out with Acrylics, working at ICI, Darwen, Lancashire,
soon becoming the Technical Service & Development manager,
transferring later to the headquarters of the ICI Plastic
Division at Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. His next move was
into the Food Industry as Sales and Development Manager for CPC
(Corn Products Corporation). It was here, at CPC, where he first
met Shelagh, his wife to be. His recruitment by Pauls & Whites
of Ipswich, to take up the Managing Directorship of their
subsidiary, White Stevenson Ltd., in 1977, was to provide his
first experience of Flavour Manufacturing.White
Stevenson Ltd, formed by the merger of the old London based
flavour house `Stevenson & Howell’ with other companies within
the Pauls Group, ‘White Tompkins & Courage Ltd’, at Reigate,
Surrey, and ‘Gillman & Spencer Ltd’ at Bletchley in
Bedfordshire, provided a diversity of products on two factory
sites. Although he was with the company for just two years the
experience would have prepared him for his next challenge at the
Wellingborough factory of Barnett & Foster Ltd. John was first
recruited as Deputy Managing Director in 1980, but after several
changes at board level he assumed control of both the Marketing
and Technical functions becoming a key member of a strong and
successful management team. On the technical side he maintained
contact with a number of scientific institutions and became a
council member at BIBRA (British Industrial Biological Research
Association) in 1984. During the eighties Barnett & Foster
increased in stature returning growth and profitability year
in and year out and John made good contribution to this
success. Company rules dictated that Directors should retire at
sixty and accordingly he had to comply in 1989.My
connection with John Gracey goes back to 1977 when I was Works
Chemist at the Reigate factory of White Stevenson. Seeking more
experience of production management I had moved to Barnett &
Foster in November 1979, to take up the position of Distillation
and Extracts Manager in charge of a new department designated
for the production of natural flavouring products. Coincidently
John arrived at Wellingborough six months later and we were once
again working on the same site.John possessed an
innovative and active mind, was a great lateral thinker and was
always inspirational to those around him. I often think that
much of what is expressed in Kipling’s poem `If’ could be
applied to John. He could keep his head when a crisis was
looming and had the ability to lead without losing the common
touch. He is remembered for his humour, his astuteness and
creativity in the workplace, ability as a manager, and of
course, those twinkling blue eyes which complemented a quick
mind and ready wit. From my point of view he was a very good
friend and colleague.Shelagh now lives at Poole,
Dorset, where she is near to their daughter, son-in-law and the
grandchildren. On behalf of the British Society of Flavourists
our deepest sympathy is extended to all the family.
Barry Taylor 15.06.12
Photo: President Brian Grainger congratulates Mike
Tyrrell on receiving Honorary Membership.