The board is led by IFF’s senior vice president of research and development, Dr. Ahmet Baydar, and includes five top international scientists: Steven Ley, head of chemistry at the UK’s Cambridge University; Cheryl Perkins, former senior vice president and chief innovation officer at Kimberly-Clark; Thomas Sharkey, Michigan State University chair of biochemistry and molecular biology; Leslie Vosshall, molecular neurobiologist, trained in biochemistry and with expertise in olfactory receptors and perception; and Brian Willis, former senior vice president of R&D and board member at Quest Flavors and Fragrances.
“We have an excellent R&D team but…we wanted to broaden our perspectives,” Baydar told FoodNavigator-USA.
He described the scientific advisory board (SAB) as “global technical experts and also people who have connections in the area of R&D.”
The idea of bringing outside experts together has been in the pipeline for the past 18 months to two years, Baydar said, with the aim of providing external perspectives, raising scientific issues, and identifying appropriate research partners.
IFF chairman and CEO Doug Tough said in a statement: “The addition of this high-quality SAB to our R&D group will help us develop innovative solutions in our flavors and fragrances business and better serve our customers’ needs. We anticipate that it will give us strong competitive advantage not only by tapping into the minds of the board members, but by leveraging their access to a global network of academics, high-level industry members, and their associates.”
The SAB met for the first time last week, and plans to meet about once a quarter, Baydar said.