Food Science and Nutrition Group

The Food Science & Nutrition Group focuses on the interface between food science and nutritional science, particularly the impact of nutrition on food processing, including reformulation, nutritional supplements and micronutrients. It provides members, with an interest in food science and human nutrition, the opportunity to engage and share knowledge with fellow members. 

The Committee is made up of professionals from manufacturing and retail, as well as consultants and academia, and organises popular evening discussion workshops. These events generally take the format of four succinct, informative sessions followed by a highly interactive but structured Q&A session. Speakers include experts from the industry, as well as from other organisations, such as the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF). The meetings are typically chaired by the Chief Scientific Officer at Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and cover such aspects as consumer insights, technical challenges, and new technologies, as well as provide a useful overview and update of the current climate.

Meet the Food Science and Nutrition Group Committee

Our Food Science and Nutrition Group aims to provide IFST members with regular information as well as organise regular thought-provoking events.

Chair: Kate Halliwell

Secretary: Anne Betty

Events: Terri Grassby 

Communications: Emma Williams

Other members: Aisling Aherne, Mark Auty, Barbara Bray, Susie Crabbe, Simon Dawson, Colin Dennis, Laura Farrell, Simon Kane, Ariba Shabbir, Tom Sheehan

Dr Aisling Aherne FIFST is the Nutrition Science Manager for Kerry Group Europe.  Aisling has over 20 years of experience working in nutritional science including scientific research, clinical nutrition, and science communications.  In her current role, Aisling is responsible for developing and delivering the Kerry nutrition strategy as well as keeping colleagues updated on nutrition regulations and policies.

Dr Mark Auty FIFST is a Research Fellow working at Reading Scientific Services and also a Global Technical Lead for Mondelez International, one of the world’s largest snacks companies. He is a food microstructure specialist working at the complex interfaces between fundamental science, ingredient formulation, processing and the consumer. Mark has over 30 years of experience in applied food structure-related studies, >100 scientific publications (mainly dairy) plus numerous international presentations and industry projects.

Anne Betty MIFST is a registered nutritionist and freelance labelling consultant to the food industry whilst also Senior Technical Advisor for the food labelling & specifications team at Micron2. She has over 25 years of experience gained in a variety of technical roles across manufacturing and retailing and was previously a Company Nutritionist for the Co-op.

Barbara Bray MBE FIFST is a Registered nutritionist and food safety consultant driving and delivering food safety and nutrition strategy for agri-food businesses.  The Co-Chair of the Oxford Farming Conference, trustee of the Nutrition Society and 2017 Nuffield Farming Scholar, Barbara is passionate about diet and food. She was awarded an MBE in 2019 for services to food nutrition.

Susie Crabbe is Ops Manager & Technical Lead at BOL Foods. I started at BOL in October 2018 as a Food Technologist, having just completed by Undergraduate Food Science & Nutrition Degree at Leeds University. My current role covers supplier account management, sustainability and all technical aspects for BOL including factory trials and shelf-life testing.

Colin Dennis CBE, DL Hon. FIFST has had a 50+ years career in industry, government and academia, including 21 years as CEO of Campden BRI.  He has served on both government and industry advisory committees globally and is currently Chair of the Board of Trustees of IFIS Ltd, serves on the Board of the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, is the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Trustees of the British Nutrition Foundation and is Past President of the Institute of Food Science & Technology (UK) and IFT (USA).

Laura Farrell FIFST is a registered nutritionist working in retail. Laura is Company Nutritionist at Tesco since 2015 where she develops and delivers nutrition policy and strategy. Prior to her current role, Laura has held various roles in technical and agricultural management. She is also a member of the BNF Scientific Committee and Nutritionists in Industry (NII) Group.

Dr Terri Grassby MIFST is a Lecturer in Food Science at the University of Surrey. Her research interests are focused on plant polysaccharides (such as cellulose, hemicelluloses and pectins) and their effects on the digestibility of nutrients and food texture. She uses in vivo and in vitro experimental approaches to investigate the relationship between structure and function. She has been teaching in higher education for 10 years. She is also a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Biochemical Society.

Kate Haliwell MIFST is the FDF’s Chief Scientific Officer and is responsible for the FDF’s food safety, food law and labelling, and diet and health policy briefs. Previously Kate led the FDF’s diet and health policy work, and before that worked for the Government on a range of nutrition and legislation policies.  Kate is a registered nutritionist and a member of the Nutrition Society.

Dr Emma Williams is a retail nutritionist with a BSc in Food Technology/Management and a Doctorate in Human Nutrition, alongside over 20 years of experience in food science and nutrition including, food manufacturing/laboratory management (dairy science); academic research; university lecturing; clinical research and science communication. She is the current Chair of UK Nutritionists in Industry (NII) group.

Events & Webinars

Each SIG is run by a small committee of volunteer members, who meet both face-to-face and virtually. As part of the committee, members are actively involved in organising and attending meetings in relation to setting up activities, events and webinars across the year. Open our Events page to attend our upcoming events or access the Webinar Hub to watch previous webinar recordings.

Upcoming Events  Previous Events
IFST Impact Award

We value the important contribution that volunteers bring to the work and life of the Institute. Without the contribution of the volunteers who serve on committees, branches and special interest groups, we would find it difficult to achieve the strategic priorities set out by the Board of Trustees. The Impact Award is an opportunity for volunteers to showcase an innovative activity that has been undertaken that meets the set criteria.

Find out more about the previous winners, entry criteria and submissions here.

IFST Community

Are you interested in food science and nutrition, and want to talk to like-minded individuals? Log on to our communication platform for all IFST members, IFST CommunityThis online space is open for you to interact and communicate freely and easily with other members and engage with our many Networks. Here are some step-by-step instructions to get you started. We’ve also created a simple how-to video.

Join the Food Science & Nutrition Community

Contact us

Do you want to find out more about our Food Science & Nutrition Group? Get in touch via info@ifst.org