Leslie Skarra

December 17, 2012
Global Food Forums FEATURE IMAGE

2013 Clean Label Conference

Presentation: Clean Labels: Implications, Strategies and Insights

Speaker: Leslie Skarra, MSc, CEO, Merlin Development, Inc.

Leslie Skarra is CEO and founder of Merlin Development, Inc., a food and beverage product development firm providing exceptional food and beverage expertise from prototype to production for over 25 years. Previously she was a research manager at the Pillsbury Company for over 10 years.

Leslie has spoken at a number of conferences such as the World Grain Summit, New Products Conference, AACC, IFT, APQC, ADS, Global Food Forums’ Clean Label Conference and more. She has also chaired multiple symposia on New Product Development Processes and taught extensively on the subject in the U.S. and Australia. She has written various book chapters on food ingredients, product development, creativity and quality control for publications including Food Technology,  Cereal Food World and Prepared Foods. She is a member of IFT and AACC.

Leslie obtained her MSc from the Department of Food Science & Nutrition, University of Minnesota.

About Merlin Development:

Since 1989 Merlin Development has been providing high quality food product development and research services to the food industry. Its in-depth experience across many product categories is coupled with real-world knowledge of commercial processes, operations, and consumer trends and behaviors.  Merlin provides prototype development, technical analyses, sensory evaluation and support for process scale-up.  The company’s extensive network of resources completes its ability to provide world-class R&D capabilities to meet clients project needs. Merlin can provide a fresh perspective for concept and prototype development. Its scientists and culinary specialists are utilized by clients to extend their research efforts.

Contact information:
Merlin Development, Inc.
181 Cheshire Lane, Suite 500,  Plymouth, MN 55441
Phone: +1.763.475.0224;  Fax: +1.763.475.1626;  E-Mail:  merlin@merlindev.com

2015 Formulating for Value Conference Presentation Description:
Strategies to Optimize Value for Consumers and your Company

Changing consumer expectations over ingredient acceptability provides the opportunity for a review of ingredients and formulations. However, delivering the best value for consumers and the manufacturer requires deep and strategic understanding of consumer needs; ingredients require optimization to meet label expectations; and processing, packaging, distribution and consumer treatments also need scrutiny. Techniques will be discussed to bring these considerations together into a single optimized product…best for the consumer, best for the manufacturer, at the best possible cost. A 7-step roadmap is provided to guide a company towards systematic development of formulas and products for the next generation of consumers.

Previous speaker at:
2013 Clean Label Conference Presentation Description:
Strategies and Insights Into Clean Label Development

More is required in the formulation of clean label products than the replacement of technical-sounding ingredients with natural-sounding ones. In order to best optimize such consumer-friendly foods and beverages, an understanding of product processing and packaging is required. A comprehensive approach to developing cost-effective, clean label products with long term stability and replicable quality will be provided. Formulations tips, tricks and tactics will also be suggested.