Face-to-Face: Meet Mel Jackson July 2013

Ever wonder if anyone else is facing the same professional challenges as you? Or just looking to connect with some new people in your field? In IFT's Face-to-Face series, we will be introducing you to a different IFT member every month with a fun, insightful Q&A session.


This month meet...

Mel JacksonMel Jackson, Vice President of Science, Sweet Green Fields.

  1. How did you get your start in the food industry?
    While on holiday from my native land of Britain, my wife and I fell in love with Hawaii and stayed. As a researcher and academic, I began working with the Hawaiian Agricultural Research Center and studied various food and agricultural systems. This led me to work on stevia as a new crop for the Hawaiian agricultural system.

  2. What do you love about your job?
    I enjoy the constant search for answers to solve and improve our products. I am a problem solver at heart and focus on how to solve for taste, development, and manufacturing.

  3. What is the biggest challenge that you face in your job?
    To take the tremendous potential of steviol glycosides and advance their utility until they achieve their potential place as a global, natural, and healthy sweetener we consume every day, just like sugar.

  4. What have you learned or been exposed to in the past 12 months that has helped you in your job?
    At Sweet Green Fields, we have had incredible breakthroughs on a molecular level with our extracts that will allow for broader usage in popular beverages, such as colas.

  5. How do you see the food industry evolving over the coming year?
    The food industry is continuing to change rapidly. Consumers are seeking healthier choices and we need to be proactive and deliver for them. Stevia is a great option to help answer consumer demand.

  6. Fun Fact: What’s your favorite food?
    I'm a Brit, it’s Guinness!

If you are an IFT member and wish to be profiled, please contact Kelly Hensel at khensel@ift.org or 312-604-0211.