The IFST Midlands branch organised a visit to Tennants Fine Chemicals in Leek, a small market town on the edge of the Staffordshire Peak District. Tennants Fine Chemicals are the number one producer of esters and aromas in the UK so the group were eager to look around the site. We started with drinks and some rather delicious cream cakes, then the Tennants team gave us an introduction to the company and the site. Tennants only manufacturing site is based in the UK and have a major stock hub in Singapore but they are looking to expand further to satisfy a worldwide market. Their aroma chemicals are supplied to all of the major flavour and fragrance companies to be used in fine fragrances, household products as well as flavours and personal care brands. Their acetate esters are also supplied to a number of global companies and have a wide range of end uses including pharmaceuticals and cigarette filters.
It was a lovely sunny afternoon as we strolled between the various manufacturing areas and discussed production with the staff. In the control room the Plant Operators who were monitoring the site via a suite of computers were happy to take us into the factory itself and show us how things worked. After the tour we went to the odour evaluation room and were given the opportunity to smell some products we saw being made. There were lots of interesting things to try with aroma notes like jasmine, Mr Kipling Bakewell Slices, pear drops and orange peel. A slide accompanied each product with the chemical structure and a description of its end uses.
Back in the meeting room we chatted about the tour, had more tea and coffee and finished off the cream cakes. Robin from the IFST took some photos and carried out some video interviews. It was a great visit and the IFST Midlands branch would like to thank the Tennants team again for their hospitality.
Some feedback from the visitors:
“I liked that the staff and people at Tennants gave their time and to meet fellow members of the IFST. It was a different part of the food industry I had not seen before.”
“Openness of company to show us lots of things and tell us lots of information.”
“To see their complex operation and to be able to compare it with my background” “Practical & interaction with different staff with different specialisms
“The enthusiasm of the staff and the warm welcome they provided. Their knowledge about their products and markets.”
Lauren Rogers, RSensSci FIFST (Midlands Branch Member)
Photos from the day:
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Watch our highlights from the visit below: