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Meet the Committee

Chair's message

Welcome to the SCI Food Technical Interest Group homepage. Our continuing aim within the Group is to arrange meetings which are topical, challenging, and of interest to members. We are part of the Agri-Food Hub and please also check our sister Lipids and Horticulture groups.

We are very keen to encourage the interest of young scientists in the foods sector who are about to start on their careers. As such, we support the annual Young Scientist Competitions in collaboration with the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST). At this meeting a shortlist of undergraduate and post-graduate students present their research to a panel of judges, and the winners are given a cash prize, and a year's free membership of the SCI. We also sponsor the prestigious Nursten Postgraduate Symposium prize for flavour chemistry. Competition winners are invited to the Food Group Committee Meetings and are invited to present their research at events hosted by the SCI.

SCI has a long tradition of awarding a number of travel bursaries and scholarships in food science and food engineering related disciplines, and we encourage all our members to take up these opportunities; the calls are announced once or twice each year.

We are continually reviewing the types of events we host including Early Career symposia, conferences and Public Evening Lectures. We welcome new ideas for meetings - so if you feel that a subject is worthy of more attention, whether as an evening meeting or a full day, then please let us know. We also welcome anyone wishing to join the committee to get in touch; there are several ways in which you can contribute. The committee is a great way to develop new skills and make new contacts. If you want to come along to a meeting to see what goes on before making that leap to formally applying to join the committee, you will be very welcome. The committee meets typically four times a year (usually in Belgrave Square, but occasionally at other venues around the UK) so if you are interested, we would love to hear from you.

Food Group

Committee biographies and photographs

 Nick Caporaso Nicola (Nick) Caporaso
Nick obtained a BSc and MSc in Agricultural Science and Technology at the University of Naples Federico II, Italy. He then started a 3-year postgraduate research programme at the same university working on olive oil, food aroma, polyphenols and food emulsions. He moved to England in January 2015 for his PhD programme in Food Science at The University of Nottingham. For his research he is based at Campden BRI and he is investigating the application of hyperspectral imaging to food granular commodities. His previous research interests include olive oil chemistry, extraction technology, aroma and sensory properties. He is currently working on a range of food commodities including wheat and coffee. He is co-author of more than 20 publications in scientific international journals or works presented at scientific conference in the field of food science.
 John Points

John Points
John Points is an independent consultant providing advice to the food industry on chemical risk management, outsourced testing strategies, EU trade requirements, and providing capacity-building and training services to laboratories in the UK and overseas. He has previously worked at Sainsbury’s in the own-brand supply team and at LGC where he led the food testing business. His background is in analytical chemistry, particularly in the analysis of residues and contaminants in food to meet EU statutory requirements. He is a member of the UK Pesticides Residues in Food (PRiF) expert advisory committee.

Ordinary Members:
Angela Calder

Angela Calder
Angela Calder currently works at Smithers Pira in the Food Contact Analysis team. Previously she worked for Leatherhead Food Research as the Senior GC-MS Chemist, responsible for taint investigations and non routine food analyses. Her specialism is in chromatographic techniques and mass spectrometry and she has a Masters in Analytical Chemistry from Kingston University.

Craig Duckham

Dr Craig Duckham
Craig Duckham is an Independent Consultant who formed CD R&D Consultancy Services in 2012, having worked at a senior level in two microencapsulation technology based companies. Craig now supports businesses looking to improve the bioavailability, stability and performance of specialist functional ingredients and food flavours. Craig obtained a PhD in Plant Physiology at the University of Nottingham, carried out postdoctoral research on biogenic volatile hydrocarbon emissions and their impact on tropospheric ozone formation at Lancaster University and investigated food flavour formation at Reading University. Prior to his move into the functional ingredients market, Craig spent time in the water industry where he specialised in analytical method development. Craig is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a Fellow of the British Society of Flavourists. more


Dr Rachel Edwards-Stuart
Rachel Edwards-Stuart graduated from Cambridge in 2003 with a degree in Biochemistry, before moving to Paris to work with Dr Hervé This at the Collège de France. While in Paris, Rachel started to become interested in developing and strengthening the collaboration between chefs and scientists, with a particular interest in chef training. She subsequently moved to Nottingham University to embark on a PhD titled “Creating Innovative Texture and Flavour experiences”, which was sponsored by Heston Blumenthal and supervised by the Food Flavour Group. Rachel then spent a few years at Sainsburys as a Product Technologist before taking on the role at Westminster Kingsway College of running the new Culinary Science department, overseeing research projects and teaching science to chefs. She also runs her own business, which offers consultancy and bespoke sessions for private and corporate clients on food and flavour science.


Daniel Hefft

Daniel is a German food engineer, who moved to the United Kingdom in September 2015. He graduated at Germanys University of Applied Sciences Ostwestfalen-Lippe in 2014, where he attained a BSc in Food Science and Technology, focusing on the technology of baked goods and confectionary.  Whilst at this university, he also successfully attained the professional title Ingenieur (German: Engineer).

After graduating, he worked for a leading, multinational cake manufacturer based in Germany, where he rapidly rose to become head of production for several production lines.  In December 2016, he graduated at the University of Reading (United Kingdom) as MSc in Food Technology Quality Assurance.  Daniel is currently a process development engineer at Weetabix Ltd in Burton Latimer.

Industry Memberships

  • Society of Chemical Industry
  • Institute of Agricultural Engineering
  • Association of German Food Technologists (GDL. e.V.)
  • Institute of Food Science and Technology
Keshavan Niranjan

Prof Keshavan Niranjan
Keshavan Niranjan, better known as Niranjan, is the Professor Food Bioprocessing at the University of Reading. He is a chemical engineer by training and a faculty member at University of Reading since October 1989. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, the immediate Past President of the International Society of Food Engineering, and an Editor of the Journal of Food Engineering.

Prof Niranjan has over 125 original research publications, and he researches in the broad area of food processing/process engineering for health and environment. His current research projects cover the following areas:

1) Formation and stability of bubble included foods, especially steam induced frothing of milk

2) Engineering strategies to lower fat uptake during deep fat frying

3) Development of compostable packaging, active or otherwise

4) High pressure processing of foods

5) Processing techniques for separating health positive ingredients

Prof Niranjan has a number of projects funded externally by the food industry as well as national and international funding agencies. He is passionately committed to the food engineering education, especially to research and enterprise.

 Charlotte Mills  Dr Charlotte Mills 
Charlotte Mills is a Post Doctoral Research Associate, Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences, King’s College London. Charlotte is investigating the effect of inorganic nitrate as beetroot and diuretic spironolactone on arterial stiffness in type 2 diabetes. Charlotte graduated in Food Science with Industrial Training, BSc (Hons) in 2005. Following this she went on to obtain her PhD, investigating the effect of coffee processing on polyphenol content and health outcomes, from the same university.
Ruramayi Nzuma Mswaka

Dr Ruramayi Nzuma-Mswaka 
Ruramayi Nzuma-Mswaka is a Daphne Jackson Fellow, Queens University Belfast. Ruramayi is a Molecular-Microbiologist who received a Bsc Honours in Biological Sciences (1989) and MPhil in Microbiology (1992) from the University of Zimbabwe. She obtained a PhD in Biotechnology from Cranfield University in 1999, working on “The Molecular studies of NADH oxidase and L-asparaginase from Thermus aquaticus YT-1”. Ruramayi is interested in developing molecular diagnostic tools. Immediately after her PhD, she joined the Scientific & Industrial Research & Development Centre in Zimbabwe as a Research Scientists pioneering and developing a DNA Fingerprinting laboratory providing genetic identification services to the agricultural industry. In 2003, Ruramayi took a career break to raise her twins, which coincided with her relocation to the UK. Frustrated trying to find a way back to science after 10 years, she searched “woman in science” online and discovered the Daphne Jackson Trust, offering support to women who are looking to return to science after career breaks. This has been her lifeline as they approved her Daphne Jackson career re-entry Fellowship and secured sponsorship from SCI. This allowed her to commence her fellowship at Queens University Belfast in 2013 where she is working on methods to make detection of Campylobacter less time consuming, more specific and sensitive. more

K Clive Thompson

Prof K. Clive Thompson
K. Clive Thompson is Chief Scientist at ALS Laboratories based at the Rotherham Food and Waters Lab. ALS Laboratories is a large contract analysis organisation with ~ 1,500 staff and operates in 11 European countries. Clive is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC); Fellow of The Institute of Food Science & Technology (FIFST); Chartered Chemist (CChem); Chartered Scientist (CSci); Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (FCIWEM); Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health (FRSPH); Member of the Water Management Society (MWMSoc); Visiting Professor at East London University; Member of the American Chemical Society; Member of the American Society for Microbiology. more

Jancie Ng

Jancie Wei Xin Ng
Jancie Ng is a PhD student at University College Dublin and the NPD manager at BCH (Rochdale) Ltd. She completed her first degree BSc in Food Technology in 2011 and has taken part in a wide range of research studies on food science and processing technologies in the fields of both food and confectionery. She has a particular interest in caramel manufacturing ranging from confection caramel to liquid caramel colour. Her current research focuses on investigating the application of Ohmic heating technology to caramel colour manufacturing in order to produce a clean label alternative to current products.

Ruth Wright

Ruth Wright
Ruth Wright studied Food Science and Nutrition (BSc) at the University of Leeds. She completed an industrial placement at PepsiCo within the Research and Development team. She is currently on the 2 Sisters Food Group technical graduates’ scheme which involves rotations within their poultry, biscuits and ready meals divisions.


Dr Qian Yang
Dr Qian Yang is Sensory Manager in the School of Biosciences at the University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, Leicestershire where she obtained her PhD in Sensory Science in 2014.

Carol Raithatha

Carol Raithatha
Carol is an independent consultant specialising in sensory evaluation, consumer research, and market research. She is director of Carol Raithatha Limited which has been trading for over 15 years and focuses on food and drink and related sectors such as personal care, homecare, and healthcare. Clients include multinational consumer goods companies, smaller manufacturers, and research organisations and agencies.

Carol is the author of a number of market reports and articles on topics including food and drink trends, flavours, packaging, salt reduction, and more. She has recently authored/co-authored book chapters on monitoring sensory panel performance. Carol has been a member of the SCI for approximately 20 years and she values the SCI for the learning and networking opportunities it provides.

 Anil de Sequeira Dr JS Anil de Sequeira

Dr de Sequeira has a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry, an MSc in Food Technology (Process Engineering Option) from Reading University and a PhD from London Southbank University, where he developed a time-temperature indicator for stored food using enzymes extracted from bananas. He has worked on several research and industrial projects, having had a career in higher education since 1994 and research since 1989.
He is currently External Affairs Coordinator (Biology) and Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Food with Nutrition at Bath Spa University. His role as External Affairs Co-ordinator involves his working with colleagues to improve externally-facing work. He is also Associate Director: Science for the University Centre for Transnational Creativity and Education which enhances his current role.

An active member of the IFST for 27 years; he is a Fellow of the IFST, a Chartered Scientist and a Fellow of Higher Education Academy, UK.


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