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Lipids: From Fundamentals to the Future - biographies

Abu Dhabi

This item first appeared in 2008

Information on speakers

Speaker Biographies

Sherok Abbas-Majid
Dr Nor Aini Idris
Dr Dimitrios Boskou
Ken Carlson
Dr Etienne Deffense
Bita Farhang
Dr Wim De Greyt
Dr S P Kochhar
Andrew Logan
Dr Anne M Minihane
Dr Maha Misbah
Dr Müjde Olçay
Rajan Skhariya
Kevin W Smith
Paul Smith
Frank Veldkamp
Michael C Willson

Sherok Abbas-Majid
Sherok Abbas-Majid Sherok is a Regulatory Advisor who joined LFI on 2006. She has responsibility for the legislation of the Middle Eastern countries and all African countries (apart from Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco); this is in addition to the Codex Alimentarius food regulations. Sherok has a masters degree in microbiology with two years experience in food legislation and two years past experience in food microbiology.

Dr Nor Aini Idris
Dr Nor Aini Idris received her BSc (1980) in Food and Science and Nutrition from Northern Illinois University, USA, MSc (1982) in Food Science and Technology from Oregon State University and PhD (1999) in Food Science from the National University of Malaysia. While at Northern Illinois University, she was elected to membership of the Beta Gamma Chapter of Omicron Nu, National Honor Society. After coming back from the USA upon completion of her MSc programme, Dr Nor Aini Idris started her career as a Research Officer in 1983 with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), then known as the Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia (PORIM). She was promoted to Senior Research Officer and then to Principal Research Officer. Dr Nor Aini leads a group of researchers working on food applications of palm oil. Her current position is as the Head of Food Technology and Nutrition Unit in the Division of Product Development and Advisory Service of MPOB.

Dr Nor Aini Idris has produced more than 48 papers in refereed journals, seven book chapters, three patents and 100 other publications. She has given 90 presentations at professional meetings, nationally and internationally. She was awarded with the Outstanding Paper Presentation Award at the 81st AOCS Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1993, she received the Young Scientist Award from the government of Malaysia for her work on utilisation of palm oil in shortenings and bakery products. Her research interests include shortenings, vanaspati, palm blends for temperate climate, palm based mayonnaise and salad dressing, trans free food formulations and sensory evaluation.

Dr Nor Aini is married and a caring mother to six children.

Dr Dimitrios Boskou
Dr Dimitrios BoskouDimitrios Boskou (retired September 2006) received his Diploma and Doctor’s degree in Chemistry from the School of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Hellas, his Philosophy Doctor’s Degree from the University of London, UK and the degree of Doctor of Science from the School of Chemistry, Aristotle University. He served as an assistant, lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor, professor and head of the Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Technology, School of Chemistry,Aristotle University (1970-2006). In the period 1986 -1998 he was a member of the IUPAC Oils, Fats, and Derivatives Commission. From 1995-2005 he served as a member of the Supreme Chemical Council, Athens (1995-2005). Since 1995 he has been a member of the Scientific Committee for Food of the European Commission and member and expert of the Food Additives Panel of the European Food Safety Authority. Over 85 published papers and reviews, author and editor of three books (Olive Oil, USA, 1996, Frying of Food, USA,1999, Natural Antioxidant Phenols, India 2006, Olive Oil, 2006 USA), lead author of more than 10 chapters in books related to olive oil chemistry, natural antioxidants,heated fats, minor constituents of oils and fats. Contributor to international scientific encyclopedias and the Lexicon of Lipid Nutrition, a joint IUPAC/IUNS work.  

Ken Carlson
ken carlsonKen began his career in the oils and fats industry in 1973 with Alfa-Laval in Sweden. This was two years after graduating from college as a mechanical engineer and an attempt at supporting himself as a jazz musician. Since then he has had experience from working in over 50 countries with design, engineering, project management and commissioning, as well as sales of equipment and systems for oils and fats, fish and meat and oleo chemicals.

Over the years Ken has written over 40 articles, hand books and brochures on oils and fats processing technology including a chapter on Deodorisation in Bailey’s Handbook. He has served as chairman for AOCS ‘New Technologies’ group and Associate Editor of Processing for INFORM and has chaired or presented at many conferences worldwide.

During his career Ken has worked for the Alfa-Laval group and other companies as a process specialist for various refining technologies and in positions of technical, regional and commercial management. In 1990 he started RBD Technologies, a consulting business focusing on R&D pilot plants and specialty oil processing. The business has delivered several skid-mounted pilot plants (including one to Crown) and served over 50 clients worldwide with assignments ranging from feasibility studies to designing and managing complete processing plants. One of Ken’s key clients since the early 90’s was Crown Iron Works. This close relationship, combined with the pressures of continuing consolidation of the fats and oils industry, led to Ken joining Crown in Minneapolis in the autumn of 2003 as Technical Director - Fats & Oils.

Dr Etienne Deffense
Dr Etienne DeffenseDr Etienne Deffense was born in Belgium. He received his PhD in organic chemistry at the University of Louvain (Belgium), where he was lecturer and made a post-doctoral fellow at the Max-Plank-Institüt in Germany. From 1980 to 1996 was R&D Manager at the S. A. Fractionnement Tirtiaux. In 1997 he founded his own company, Crystallisation & Degumming, (C&D) specialising in oils and fats processing, supplying complete physical refining plant and skid mounted, dry fractionation plants for fats and speciality fats. C&D has plant references in Europe, Asia, North and South America and provide services and expertises to oils and fats industry, in 2000 he opened a R&D and analytical laboratory.

Member of AOCS since 1980, he was a founding member of the EAOCS in 1996 and served as treasurer from 1996.  

Bita Farhang
Bita FarhangBita Farhang is currently studying for a PhD in the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph in Canada. Her current research programme is the stabilisation of omega 3 with liposome technology and improving functional dairy products.

Her interest and experience is edible oils and fats especially lipid oxidation, edible application, omega 3 and functional food. She has presented many papers in the field of fats and oils and functional foods in different international congresses including AOCS, Eurofedlipid, ISF, International nutraceutical and functional food congress, IUFoST world congress of food science and technology, International congress of food science.

She also specialises in food safety programmes and works as a Quality Assurance and HACCP consultant.

Dr Wim De Greyt
Dr Wim De GreytWim graduated in 1988 as Engineer Food Technology from the Faculty of Applied Biological Sciences at the University of Ghent. He obtained a PhD degree at the same university in 1998 with study on the ‘Effect of Physical Refining on Selected Minor Components in Vegetable Oils’. He was research assistant at the Department of Food Technology & Nutrition (University of Ghent) from 1989 until 1998. He joined De Smet in 1998, first as R&D project leader and from 2000 as R&D Manager.

Today, he manages the Desmet-Ballestra R&D Centre located in Brussels, Belgium. In the R&D centre, a group of 15 specialised R&D people are working on different projects in oilseed extraction, oil refining and modification and biodiesel production.

Dr S P Kochhar
Dr S P KochharDr Parkash Kochhar has over thirty years of experience in various aspects of oils and fats, including speciality oils, food antioxidants, minor components, and frying technology. He obtained his PhD degree in Food Science by researching on the ‘Physico-Chemical Properties of Highly Purified Triglycerides’, from Nottingham University, England in 1973.

For sixteen years, Parkash worked as senior research scientist in Oils & Fats Section of Leatherhead International, Surrey, and carried out research on various aspects of oils and fats. Since 1989 he has been a freelance consultant in oils, fats, antioxidants, and frying technology. For six years, he was Technical Director of Good-Fry International Rotterdam. For seven years, he was a specialist lecturer at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford and currently, he is a Visiting Research Fellow to the University.

Parkash has published over seventy-five scientific papers in international journals. He is also an author of many book chapters and editor/co-editor of several books. He is past Chairman of the Oils and Fats Group of SCI, London, Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (UK), past Board Member of Euro-Fed-Lipid, and an associate editor of the INFORM of the AOCS, USA.

Andrew Logan
Andrew LoganAndrew Logan is a Chemical Engineer and has been working for Alfa Laval since 1985. He is currently employed as a Senior Process Engineer for the Vegetable Oil Technology market unit within Alfa Laval. He is currently based in Copenhagen, Denmark, but has also worked for Alfa Laval in the UK and in Sweden. His area of expertise is centrifugal separation and associated processes, such as degumming and refining.

Dr Anne M Minihane
Dr Anne M MinihaneAnne is a Reader in Integrative Nutrition, in the Hugh Sinclair Human Nutrition Group at the University of Reading, UK. Her main research is concerned with the impact of changes in the amount and composition of dietary fat, in particular n-3 PUFA, on a range of physiological risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD), including lipoprotein metabolism, and endothelial function and vascular tone. A component of this work is investigating the impact of common gene variants on 1) the risk of diabetes and CHD, and 2) responsiveness to dietary change. A particular focus is the apolipoprotein E genotype, with a number of projects and collaborations ongoing, which are investigating the molecular basis for the increased risk of CHD in apoE4 carriers, and establishing how apoE genotype-CHD associations can be manipulated by dietary change. The research of the group is conducted using human clinical trials, and cell culture and molecular biology techniques.

Dr Maha Misbah
Dr Maha MisbahDr Misbah graduated from Cairo University (BSc and MSc in Chemical Engineering) and thereafter acquired her PhD from University College of Swansea, UK.

Since joining Unilever in 1992, she has built up her knowledge and experience in:

  • Oils/ fats refining and modification technologies,
  • Development of spreads and cooking products,
  • Establishment of integrated supply chains.

Dr Misbah has undertaken a number of technical positions in Unilever Research & Development and in a number of Unilever factories (oil refineries, margarine production and lecithin production). This ranged from commissioning pilot plant facilities, evaluating new technologies (enzymatic modification), optimising refining procedures, identifying production bottlenecks thus increasing capacity and launching new spreads/cooking products.

Since 2005 she has been playing a leading role in Foods Global Supply Chain Group; responsible for the worldwide establishment of new supply chains that meet the requirements of Unilever’s Foods Innovation Projects. In this capacity she evaluates technologies, suppliers and identifies areas of opportunities for co-development with third parties. Such a role requires working closely in multidisciplinary international teams (research, development, legal affairs, supply chain and implementation).

Dr Müjde Olçay
Dr Müjde OlçayMüjde graduated from the Aegean University, Turkey, in the Engineering Faculty, Food Engineering Department in 1990. For the two years she worked for a flour milling factory as production engineer. Then she decided to continue her university career and worked in the Food Engineering Department, for five years as a Research Asistant. During this time, she took her Master of Science Degree and PhD degree in Cereal Science and Technology.

In 1998, she worked for Unilever Turkey as Development Manager, responsible for Oils and Fats Group for four years. Then she has transferred to Besler, Ulker. She worked there as R&D Manager of Oils and Fats Group (including consumer, bakery and industrial fats and margarines) for four years. For last two years, she has directed both Quality Assurance and R&D Departments there.

Rajan Skhariya
Rajan SkhariyaBorn in 1956, Rajan Skhariya graduated in mechanical engineering in 1978 and has over 30 years’ experience in the Oils & Fats Industry. Mr Skhariya is the Managing Director of Mecpro Heavy Engineering Limited, an engineering company based in New Delhi, India, that has been engaged in setting up turnkey projects besides providing technical consulting services in the field of Oils & Fats and Oleochemicals for the last 22 years.

Mr Skhariya has to his credit several research innovations in association with the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research and the National Research Development Corporation. Some of his recent inventions for reducing hexane consumption, low temperature separation of miscella and efficient desolventisation in Solvent Extraction plants have been patented.

Mr Skhariya is a member of the American Oil Chemists Society and the Oil Technologists Association of India, as well as the Indian Institute of Plant Engineers. He has also presented several technical research papers at various conferences both at the national and international level.

Kevin W Smith
Kevin W SmithKevin has spent more than 25 years researching oils and fats. Kevin joined Unilever in 1980, coming from Bath University where he specialised in organic chemistry. He started working in the Speciality Fats section, investigating the fractionation of palm oil for cocoa butter equivalents. His worked expanded to studying the phase behaviour of pure triacylglycerols and to the investigation of DSC as a quality control tool. After seven years at Colworth, he was seconded to the Loders Croklaan factory in Silvertown, London where he gained experience of production processes. Returning to Colworth, he worked on partially hydrogenated fats, lauric fats, low calorie filling fat systems, fat migration, bloom retarding fats, non-temper filling fats and lipid-based moisture barriers. He has worked on projects for various Unilever companies but, more recently, has focussed on ice cream and spreads. He has been involved with developing methods using pulse NMR, DSC, microscopy (e. g. cold-stage and temperature gradient) and x-ray diffraction, particularly time-resolved x-ray diffraction combined with scanning calorimetry. He recently joined the Fat Technology Group in Unilever’s Centre of Excellence Structured Emulsions.

Paul Smith
Paul SmithPaul Smith is a Senior Research Scientist at Cargill R&D Centre Europe in Vilvoorde, Belgium. Originally from the UK, Paul studied Materials Science at Oxford University and then worked for Unilever Research whilst completing a PhD on the crystal habit modification of triglycerides at Leeds University.

He then became Area Manager Fat Technology at YKI, Institute for Surface Chemistry in Stockholm, Sweden. Here he was responsible for varied research on oils, foods and packaging. Many new techniques were applied to the study of oils, including baking muffins in an electron microscope. He was also responsible for establishing Swechoc (the Swedish Chocolate Research Centre).

His work within Cargill is focused on scientific understanding of oils and fats in order to create new products. Areas of interest include bakery, frying and confectionery. In 2005-6 Paul was a guest professor at the Venture Business Laboratory at Hiroshima University (Japan). He has many different publications on physical properties of oils and fats and he is a regular speaker at international conferences.

Frank Veldkamp
Graduate of the Technical University of Enschede, in mechanical engineering. He started the filtration company LFC Lochem BV in 1979 and as the MD of that company focussed mainly on the growth and innovation of filter applications in the edible oil /fat and oleo chemical industry. Pioneered in the first bio-diesel/methylester applications both on pre-treatment and final filtration issues.

In 2006 LFC Lochem became part of the AmaFiltergroup. Frank is currently responsible for business development and application manager for bio-fuel filter applications. He is married and has two sons.

Michael C Willson
Michael C WillsonFollowing graduation from Liverpool University with a Chemistry degree and after a number of years working in R&D for Unilever in the UK, Mike studied for an MBA before moving towards the manufacturing side via technical and quality management roles. He subsequently managed factories in the UK and the United Arab Emirates, which produced a wide range of packaged oils and fats, before moving to the US in 2000.

Since then he has operated a consultancy business, LipoLogic Food Technology, which is based near Raleigh, North Carolina. In the past five years, he has worked in close collaboration with Chemtech International, acting as their Technical Consultant on the East Coast of the US and also carrying out projects both for, and on behalf of, Chemtech in a number of countries in Europe and the Middle East, as well as in the US for a number of major companies, including Kelloggs, General Mills, Sara Lee, Loders Croklaan, Schwans Inc. and Spectrum Organics. He is also currently acting as Technical Director on a consultancy basis for C.F. Sauer Foods, a major manufacturer of margarines, spreads, butter blends, mayonnaise, sauces & dressings with plants in the South East, the North East and the Mid West.

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