Melanie Goulson

December 12, 2016
Speaker Biography Feature Image

Melanie Goulson, MSc, President, Merlin Development

MELANIE GOULSON HEAD SHOTMelanie Goulson brings her deep experience and Merlin Development’s rich history to the critical intersection of ingredient applications, new product development, and sweetness. Melanie is General Manager with Merlin, which specializes in all aspects of food product development.

Melanie’s career began at Cargill focusing on the development and application of functional food ingredients, including both nutritive sweeteners and natural high potency sweeteners. She was a key contributor to the development of food grade stevia sweeteners as ingredients and also consumer products. Melanie is an adjunct professor at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN, and prior to joining Merlin, she was an independent consultant.

Melanie has a B.S. in Biotechnology and M.S. in Food Science. She is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists.

 Global Food Forums Presentations by Speaker

Stevia, monk fruit and older high potency sweeteners provide desired sweetness to products. However, many reduced-sugar foods would never make it into the marketplace without the additional presence of bulking ingredients. From tried-and-true favorites like isomalt to newer entrants like allulose, this presentation provides examples and technical tips of how these “partners to high intensity sweeteners” can help mitigate texture and flavor issues.

Developers and consumers alike have long awaited an ingredient solution that can deliver all of the sweetness and functionality of sucrose without the calories or grams of added sugar.  High potency sweeteners can effectively replace the sweetness of sugar, but often fall short in replacing other properties.  There’s growing interest in a new group of low-calorie bulk sweeteners that can contribute more of the desired performance characteristics to reduced sugar products.  This presentation will focus on the properties of tagatose, allulose, and erythritol, comparing their taste, functionality, and nutritional properties to sucrose in food and beverage applications.


From earliest times to today’s health-oriented consumers, seeds, grains and other plant foods have been an integral part of homemade prepared foods. Although largely unexplored in the past, the food industry is turning its attention and research dollars to understanding the properties of foods such as chia seed, teff and quinoa. This presentation looks at traditional uses of these plant materials and brings the discussion into the 21st century as it proposes how their properties can beneficially impact the texture, stability and other important characteristics of a final product.

  • 2017 Sweetener Systems Conference Taste Demonstration (Interactive session):

The objective of this activity, conducted with George Huss, Merlin Development, is to explore how sweeteners and acidulants can be applied to produce more well-rounded and appealing taste profiles. Its specific focus will be on managing the sweet/sour taste balance of products by considering the temporal characteristics of the ingredients and then matching them accordingly. Benefits of this approach include improved organoleptics, better flavor performance, and even cost savings! Attendees will get the chance to taste examples, discuss, and ask questions during this interactive event.

Food marketers and other product developers must identify sweeteners acceptable to consumers seeking natural, healthful products. Formulators are tasked with making those sweeteners, ranging from nutritive sweeteners to zero-calorie options, function to their maximum potential. This presentation explores the physiochemical and sensory properties of both traditional tools as well as the more recent entrants in the marketplace that provide sweetness and other desired performance characteristics in finished products.  Insights will be offered into tactics and strategies that can help troubleshoot difficult formulations and result in optimally designed products