DK Weerasinghe

December 10, 2018
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2019 Clean Label Conference

Presentation: Formation of FlavorIs Natural the same as Clean Label?

Speaker: Deepthi (DK) Weerasinghe, PhD, Principal, dP3Consulting

DK Weerasinghe, PhD, is currently principle of dP3 consulting. He is a flavor scientist with over 25 years’ experience in the industry. His most recent position was that of Senior Flavor Scientist, Nestle, US, where his focus was on clean label savory flavors, color generation and microwave mediated Maillard chemistry. Prior positions include that of Senior Flavorist, Kerry Ingredients and Research Fellow at PepsiCo where his emphasis was on natural and synthetic sweeteners. Other work includes that as a Senior Scientist at The Coca-Cola Company where he led the screening of multitude of ingredients, such as individual molecules, essential oils and flavors, with the goal of improving the temporal profile of natural and synthetic sweeteners. Previous similar roles include some eight years at Firmenich and four years at Universal Flavors. Weerasinghe has a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Bath (UK) and a BSc (Hon) from Kingston University (UK) in Applied Chemistry. 

He co-edited “Process and Reaction Flavors: Recent Developments”, “Nutraceutical Beverages: Chemistry, Nutrition, and Health Effects”, Sweetness and Sweeteners: Biology, Chemistry and Psychophysics published by the American Chemical Society as their symposium series books.

2019 Clean Label Conference Presentation

Title: Formation of FlavorIs Natural the same as Clean Label?

Presentation Description: “Natural” ingredient manufacturers utilize rules set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations 21CFR101.22. Studying how these flavor-impacting molecules are made in nature, producers use microbes or purified enzymes to facilitate these reactions. Methods now utilized to form “natural molecules” from plant products include fermentation, enzymology, and “soft chemistry” followed by subsequent purification or isolation such as by steam distillation, extraction, chromatography or crystallization. The drive for “Clean Labels” was born out of consumers desire to read labels and find materials they recognize from daily life. Clean label today is where Natural was decades ago. Consumers do not necessarily equate clean label to natural; they dislike a “Black Box-Natural Flavors” statement. A primary challenge is that the terms “Natural” and “Clean Label” are differently regulated and differently interpreted around the world, leading to non-uniformity on a worldwide basis. In this talk we will discuss the formation of flavors by the respective methodology that in turn will help respective attendees determine the best label for their products.