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President's Letter

Membership Matters

Weurman Flavour Syposium

The Barry Axcell Fellowships in Brewing Science

Brian Grainger NEW

Obituary: Christopher Goddard.

Obituary: Ken Hassey.

Obituary: David Farmer

Obituary: John Landau

Obituary: Dr. John Patrick Victor Gracey.

president's letter

Dear Members, Can it really be so long since the AGM? So much has been going on that the time has really flown by. Hopefully you have noted the moves we have been making on the website and our forays into social media. Stephen has done a great job in getting us on twitter which I urge you to try. There are also regular updates and news of forthcoming events etc. We also have managed to get more of your e-mail addresses, please keep them coming in. Other electronic advances are being investigated so watch this space as they say…. That said, this is only one area that has been keeping the council occupied. The Amsterdam table talk preparations are well under way and hopefully will be as successful as previous years. The evening lecture programme is progressing well and will be rolled out over the coming weeks. There is also the possibility of another international event to which we will be linked but more of that as the plans develop. The quiz night has just gone but will be back again next year, thanks to all that took part. Finally our symposium has been planned and the venue will switch from Woburn to a new venue called @Bristol. The switch has been based on one hand, the fact that this learning establishment has recently focussed its attention towards food science with an emphasis on the young. On the other hand we hope that the location will prove easier to get to with air, rail and road links to one of the major cities in the U.K.  These coupled with the proximity of good hotels and restaurants should be the icing on the cake for our theme of 'Application of Flavours - Problems and Solutions'. This is a subject dear to my heart and one which I hope will prove of interest to a large number of you. What I have outlined should let you know that we are working hard for you and all we ask is that you support us whenever you can by either turning up to the organized events or now by interacting with us electronically. There are other irons in the fire but as they are still warming up I will hold on to the detail until the next edition. In the meantime please keep abreast of developments via the website. I wish you all a good end to the old year and good health and fortune for the coming new year

Danny Kite
Hon. President  

membership matters

As quite a few of you will have seen from various messages from me over the last few months, much of my focus has been on reconnecting with "lost" members, in particular in the harvesting of up-to-date email and postal addresses, and I am resorting to all kinds of sleuthing tactics to achieve this - the combination of Google and LinkedIn has been a particularly rich source of clues. The good news is we have made great strides in improving both the quality and quantity of contact data, for example we now have current email addresses for over 95% of our non-retired members. The figure drops to 65% for retired members, so for any of those who are using email but haven't had received anything from me, it would be great if you could get in touch. Those who are on-line in this way will have seen that we have started using emailings to push out news and event information in a more coordinated fashion. We still have some improvements to make in giving our members the earliest notice of events to get those all-important notes in the diary, but I do believe things are definitely moving in the right direction.

Related to improved communication, as Danny has mentioned in his President's letter, July saw the launch of the BSF Twitter account (follow us at @BSForguk). Whilst clearly not useful or even appealing to everyone, this nevertheless represents an extremely efficient way of rapidly posting the very latest news-in-brief, and non-Twitter users are able to view the same "micro-blog" information on the home page of our bsf.org.uk website. It also provides another avenue for anyone to get in touch with us. Additionally we are exploring utilising a BSF LinkedIn group to facilitate professional information exchange, but this is currently a "work in progress".

As we approach the end of the 2014 subscription cycle, I have been using the improved membership database to help identify and contact members for whom we have not yet received subs (yes, there are some!). I offer my sincere thanks to those who have already responded to my requests, and would encourage those remaining to settle up as soon as possible, as before we know it 2015 will be upon us.

With the help of our Treasurer Keld O'Shea, I am also exploring new and hopefully easier ways for members to pay their subscriptions. As well as the Paypal/credit card facility we can now offer the option to make direct payments via internet banking.

I am delighted to welcome the following new members:

Nelly Bellin - Associate
Maria Cocchi - Affiliate
Craig Duckham - Fellow
Shane McDonald - Fellow
Laura Pointon - Student
Tarang Shah - Associate
Rebecca Shaw - Associate
Roberto Veloso - Associate
Aine Walsh - Fellow
Tulin Yakici - Associate

Season's greetings, and I look forward to catching up with you all again in the New Year.  


 WeurmanOver two hundred academics from Universities and Institutes around the world and flavour researchers from industry attended this symposium held in the beautiful and historic setting of Queens’ College, Cambridge. Each day delegates had to cross the famous Mathematical Bridge spanning the River Cam to attend functions and to take part in the poster sessions. The weather was beautiful and the College was an absolutely awesome environment in which to hold this prestigious event. The organisers, headed up by Andy Taylor and Don Mottram, must be congratulated for producing such a memorable and successful event and for organising a high quality cutting-edge academic programme.
In total there were 38 lectures, 17 flash poster presentations and 125 poster presentations. It was an exhausting programme for anyone attempting to attend all the lectures and poster sessions. The proceedings were divided into subject groups: Flavour Discovery, Flavour Generation, Flavour Perception, Flavour Effects on the Body and Flavour in Food Products.

It would be impossible to summarise the content of all the sessions in this newsletter but for flavourists one theme came through very strongly: the number of flavour active sulphur compounds being discovered in a diverse number of food products. Examples include a paper by Steinhaus from the German Research Centre for Food Chemistry entitled Decoding the “Smell of Hell” that described the important contribution that 1-ethylsulphanyl)-ethanethiol makes to the aroma profile of durian and claimed that its use in combination with ethyl-2-methylbutyrate, an important ester in durian, reproduced the aroma profile of durian pulp.  Sakaguchi from Takasago reported two newly identified sulphur compounds in purple passion fruit; ethyl-3-mercaptobutyrate and 3-(methylthio)propionic acid. Additionally thirteen other sulphur containing compounds were also identified which included the distinctive passion fruit compounds 3-mercaptohexylacetate and 3-mercapto hexylhexanoate. A study of the stereoisomers of 4-mercaptohepan-2-one and its corresponding alcohol, naturally occurring in red bell pepper, was presented by Nörenberg from the Technical University Munich and the stereoisomers contributing to the aroma character identified. There was one very interesting paper from Cannon, IFF,  on the discovery of new sulphur compounds in lemon, one of which was described as possessing a candy green, lemon fresh, zesty, tropical brown sugar tangerine aroma. A prize winning poster from Ellie, Firmenich, described the reaction of 2-methyl-tetrahydrofuran-3-one and ammonium sulphide which produced a new spirothiazoline; 2-(3,6-dimethyl-7-oxa-1-thia-4-azaspiro[4,4]non-3-en2-yl)ethanol. A flash presentation by Zoe, German Research Centre for Food Chemistry, described the discovery that the human odour receptor OR2M3 responds to 3-mercapto-2-methylalkan-1-ol compounds. The group includes 3-mercapto-2-methylpentan-1-ol a key aroma compound in onions. If this has whetted your appetite the proceedings of the symposium will be published in April 2015.

mathematical bridge

Delegates assembling near the mathematical bridge for a tour of Cambridge

barry axcell
Applications are invited for The Barry Axcell Fellowship in Brewing Science, which will identify and develop exceptional researchers in brewing science, with a view to the individuals progressing to an independent academic career, or joining the brewing industry. The Fellowships are jointly funded by SABMiller and The University of Nottingham's Research Board and commenced in 2013. We are now seeking to appoint the second Axcell Fellow……

Candidates are asked to submit innovative research proposals in one of the following areas:

Flavour chemistry, as relevant to brewing science
Brewing yeast and fermentation
Malting science/ cereal technology applied to brewing

Each Fellowship offers:

Three years independent funding to conduct research while based at the University of Nottingham.
Additional research costs of £7,500 per annum.
Mentoring provided by Professor Barry Axcell (former Chief Brewer, SABMiller Group) and Professor Katherine Smart (Chief Brewer, SABMiller Group).  


Applicants must:

hold a PhD from an institution recognised by the University of Nottingham
have graduated after 7 November 2007
have an excellent track record in research, evidenced by publication. 

Career breaks such as maternity leave, EU national service and Voluntary Service Overseas can be discounted, but teaching experience and/or time spent in industry since the award of a PhD should be included in the total amount of postdoctoral experience.


Salaries will be set on the University of Nottingham's Research and Teaching Staff Scales grade 5 or extended grade 5 (£36,298 to £51,687) depending on experience. The salary may progress annually, subject to performance.

Further Information

Further general information about the scheme and details of the application process may be found at: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/fellowships/barry-axcell-fellowship/index.aspx.

Candidates are encouraged to contact Dr David Cook
to discuss their proposed research.

el: +44 (0)115 9516245
email: david.cook@nottingham.ac.uk)

brian grainger obituary

The industry has lost one of its great flavourists and some of the tributes that were received at his funeral reflect the esteem in which he was held;

Recognised expert throughout the flavour industry.”

“A mentor’s mentor.”

“A brilliant creator of cutting-edge commercially successful flavours.”

“Smart, talented and kind.”

“A supremely talented designer of elegant flavours, developing products that were cutting-edge in terms of technology, yet efficiently constructed and never unnecessarily ‘cluttered’ or over-complicated.”

“Our industry has lost a great ambassador.”

“It would be hard to imagine a kinder, gentler, more humble soul or a more knowledgeable walking encyclopaedia of the flavour industry.”

“He was the best boss I ever had.”

Brian was born on the 10th August 1949 in Wandsworth South London to parents Bert and Margaret and he had an older brother Peter. Brian and Peter attended a well-respected school in Clapham Junction, Emanuel School, which was very good for both academic study and sport. Brian enjoyed school and was very bright and he was also an accomplished rower.

Brian left school and moved to the University of Sussex where he studied chemistry; a subject that he had always excelled at and had a passion for. After his degree he began his career at BBA in the QC department but soon moved on to the creation of flavourings. It was a time of change and a melting pot of young people from different backgrounds one of whom, Richard Clark, recalls ‘he was one of the clever ones with a degree whilst many of us had only a few O levels. We had to work together as a team using each other as support in tasting and advice and it was clear from the start that Brian liked to keep things simple – why use 20 ingredients when one will do! He was creative and was a source of great knowledge.’

In 1977 Brian changed companies and started working for PFW in Greenford. It was a great time for a creative flavourist and with his strong scientific background and all the new chemicals and knowledge from Amersfoort research in Holland it was a highly productive period of his life laying strong foundations for the future. In 1984 he moved to PFW headquarters in Middletown USA and was issued with a green card by demonstrating that he was the world expert on pet food flavours.

In 1989 he moved to IFF New Brunswick where he spent the next 21 years travelling all over the world to such places as India and China. In 2010 Brian decided to move back to the UK as Director of Flavour Technology at IFF, Haverhill and set up home in nearby Bishops Stortford to be close to family and good road, rail and air networks. He served as President of the British Society of Flavourists over the period 2011-2103 and during this time, in 2012, he retired from IFF and became a consultant. He was also a valued tutor on the BSF Flavourist Course at Reading University mentoring budding flavourists from all corners of the globe who benefited from his lifetime of knowledge and his ability to stimulate and enthuse a passion for creative flavouring.

Brian and his brother Peter were able to spend many happy times experiencing lots of music events. Peter recalls the numerous times they went to The Royal College of Music and other concerts in London, not to mention several year’s visiting the  3 choirs  choral festival, which they were both planning to repeat this year at the next venue, Hereford. Although work took up a lot of Brian’s time he had a great passion for rock and classical music especially opera and he was able to experience these genres all over the world on his travels across America and Europe.

Brian also had quite a passion for sport and he would go and watch his team Spurs play whenever he could. He also enjoyed watching and playing cricket and on his return to the UK in 2010 he was able to pursue his love of Test Cricket. Whilst in the USA he purchased an apartment in Vermont and from there he would indulge in his love of skiing.

Brian was a very generous man with a great sense of dry humour and was always quietly funny. He sorted out free air travel for his mum and Peter to go to America and after his dad died he bought a granny flat in Lancashire for his mum which she loved.

It is fitting to end this tribute with some of the words expressed by his career-long friend, Dennis Kujawski;

I met Brian in the UK during the late 1970s during a PFW R&D meeting. He was a young flavourist with a tremendous curiosity and genius tempered by humility and wit. Brian was a great teacher and generous with his knowledge of food and flavours. My wife and I enjoyed our first experience with Indian food under Brian’s guidance and with his explanations of spices and the historical significance of all we ate. He would later share many more of his culinary skills with us, not the least of which was the brewing and serving of a proper pot of tea.

Brian was an inspiring colleague even when we were an ocean apart. I was thrilled when he moved to The States. It sealed our friendship and he, in fact, became like family to us. He was Uncle Brian to our two children.

Brian could be both serious and witty. He had a well-developed sense of humour and enjoyed a good laugh without being condescending. He was an encyclopaedia of information and interesting facts. He could weave together the connections and implications of events and give their historical significance. He was an avid reader and collector of books.

A master flavourist and brilliant chemist, Brian was mentor to many and willing to share his creative insights with all of us. Brian brought wisdom, humour, wit, and scholarly discourse to our daily lunches. Learning was important to him and he made working on projects an innovative, creative and enjoyable experience.

Brian’s sudden death on the 11th March has been a shock to his family and the flavour industry and he will be sadly missed by his brother Peter and his cousins Sasha, Julie, Polly, Jennifer and Wendy along with all of his many work colleagues both in England and America.


obituary chris goddard

Chris was one of our own. An invaluable BSF Council Member for almost 14 years, serving with distinction as secretary for 13 of those years. His passing sent a shock wave through the industry and the BSF website was inundated with messages of condolence. Some of these messages are posted below;

This is absolutely devastating - I am sorry to hear of the passing of Chris. I had no idea he was unwell. Chris was one of the nicest people I have known - quiet, unassuming and thoroughly professional in his business life and as Honorary Secretary of the British Society of Flavourists, a position held from 2000 to 2013.’ Roger Levicki.

‘I was very sad indeed to hear that Chris has passed. I remember him as a bright spark and an immense source of fun. We worked together for a while many many years ago at A E Bevan (part of Duckworth) in Southport. It was the sixties and I have found a photo of us hard at work in the pub. Chris is framed by the window and I am the scruffy individual in the lower left of the picture.’ John Wright.

‘It is very sad news and a shock. I have known Chris from his Cantrell and Cochrane days. Please pass on my condolences.
' Roger Dunton.

'Very sad news and especially at still a very young age he passed away …hopefully he will be in peace. My sincere condolences to his family and relatives.’ Cornelius Ellie

‘That is really shocking news. A lovely man that genuinely will be sadly missed. May he rest in peace.’  Steven Ellis.

So sorry to receive this news. My condolences to family, friends and ex-colleagues.’ Sue Wright.

So sad to hear this news. He was such a nice guy and always giving a lot of energy to the Society and always available for help.’ John Knoop.

These messages are testament to the great esteem and the high regard with which he was held by his many friends and colleagues. His funeral was a very moving occasion for all who attended, held at Bentley Crematorium in Brentwood and conducted by Judith Peacock, a pastor and friend of Chris. Five personal tributes were read out at the funeral by Christopher Thompson, a friend from the age of four, David Darrah, a friend from his university years, David Berryman for whom he worked as a consultant, Phil Spratt who also hired him as a consultant for Britvic and Dave Baines a friend on the BSF Council. Below is a distillate of what was said.

Chris was born in Southport, Lancashire in 1950 and when he was four years old attended Croxton School, a prep school where he met Chris Thompson who remained his friend for 60 years. They built and flew model planes together and later became interested in golf, both becoming junior members of Hesketh Golf Club and together attended the World Golf Open Championship in 1961. In 1964 they both went to watch the Beatles in the Cavern Club. He recalls that Chris was very bright and passed the exam for common entrance to public schools which took him to Ellesmere College a year early at the age of 12. From there he went on to read Natural Sciences at Downing College, Cambridge.

After University, Chris followed his father into the soft drinks trade, working first for the family business, A E Bevan, and then for Duckworth’s. During this period he studied for a Diploma in Business Management at Liverpool University. David Darrah recalled his interest in music which included Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa and more latterly Michael Nyman, The Penguin Café Orchestra and Philip Glass. He also relayed some of the fun times of parties fuelled by Bevan’s apple concentrate which had somehow been fermented, and a number of practical jokes which portrayed Chris’s mischievous sense of humour.

Chris moved south to Muswell Hill and then later to Kingston working for Coca Cola and Schweppes where his creative talent was recognised in the market place with the development of products such as Lilt and J20. He moved on from there to Britvic in Chelmsford and bought a house in Brentwood.

He took official retirement from Britvic over 10 years ago but continued to work as a consultant for Britvic and for other companies such as Noisy Drinks and David Berryman Ltd. Tracey Turner recalled – ‘I met Chris 9 years ago and he came to work with me as a consultant 3 days a week. We became good friends and he asked me to join him and be a member on the BFS monthly board meetings.  We attended many lectures and gala nights over the years together. Every year we got together a team of 5 from David Berryman Ltd for the BSF Quiz night. We had many giggles at the quiz and he obviously proved to be a very knowledgeable man. We all enjoyed tucking into our annual fish and chips and chicken and chips. I feel a massive loss in the passing of Chris he was truly a lovely man who will be very sadly missed.

Phil Spratt recalled how he first met Chris. He had been working on a drinks project for weeks with some of the world’s top flavour houses. Despite this they still hadn’t managed to create products of the quality that a company like Britvic was looking for.  A colleague introduced him to Chris and at first he recalled how he was sceptical that a quiet almost professor-like character would be able to help. When he told Chris about the challenge he just shrugged and said ‘I don’t see why not’ and within days was coming up with the products they were looking for. Phil described Chris as a quiet, unassuming man who was a creative genius. He was certainly not one to ever boast or seek praise for his achievements and consequently very few people appreciated that he was the creator of many of the drinks enjoyed globally on a daily basis. Phil wanted everyone to know that the team at Britvic knew Chris as an immensely highly valued knowledgeable colleague but also as a cherished genuinely warm individual and a great friend.

Chris loved his work as secretary of the BSF and was heavily involved with the big events that have been so successful over the years such as the Annual Symposium, the many great Gala Nights held in London and more recently the Table Talk Exhibition held in Amsterdam. He was a great support to the seven Presidents that served over the period of his secretariat and provided a steadying hand over difficult times and worked diligently to foster the aims of the BSF. Steve Pearce, President 2006-2008 reflects that ‘Chris was a great support during my time on Council - glad I took the opportunity to tell him how grateful I was for that support when I did’. The legacy he has left is a successful, thriving Society. He was one of the good guys and will be sorely missed.

Over the past 30 years Chris and his partner Judy were a constant support to each other. They enjoyed numerous holidays every year in the Lake District where he absolutely loved the walking and the peace. His ashes will be scattered by Bassenthwaite Lake beneath Skiddaw close to Keswick. All our condolences go to Judy, his sister Janet and the wider family.  


ken hassey

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 Hassey.

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 1970.

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 1984.

In October 1984 he delivered the prestigious Bill Littlejohn Memorial Lecture at the Scientific Lecture Theatre in Savile Row.

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 enjoy today.

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 Society.

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 forget him.
His anecdotes were legion.

God Bless Ken 
Rest in Peace  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.

obituary david farmer

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 in 1978.
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 at Lymington.
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 Leics.
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 Food Ingredients.
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 wife Becky.
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

Richard Clark    

obituary john h landau

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 of Westminster).
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 1968.
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 needs.
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.  

dr. john gracey


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 anthracene’ 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

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