I graduated in (bio-)chemistry from the State University of Utrecht in 1981, and obtained a PhD degree in medicine (1986) from the same university. I then started my career as a food chemist at the TNO Cereals, Flour and Bread Institute. In 1997 I was appointed as Director at the newly founded Technological Top Institute called Top Institute Food & Nutrition. In addition, I was appointed in 1999 part-time Professor in Technology of Cereal Proteins at the Food Chemistry group of Wageningen University. I have published over 160 articles in international journals (H-index 41), am the author and editor of several books, and received various prizes for his achievements in cereal science.

From December 2009 to December 2019 I served Unilever. First, as Vice President Discover, Unilever R&D, Vlaardingen, and since (2011) as Director of lab and Vice President R&D Foods. My final role ( as of mid 2018) with Unilever was VP Agrifood External Affairs.

During my career I served and continue to serve on the board of a number of organizations including FOM, TKI Agri&Food, Food Valley, Netherlands Metabolomics Centre (NMC) (chair), AMOLF (chair) and the Technology Committee of VNO-NCW.

I also have contributed to international organisations. I was the first European president of AACCI (the international association of cereal chemists, now called the Cereals & Grains Association) and am president of FoodNexus, the European network of innovation clusters aimed at making food production sustainable.

more details can be found here

at the recent FFA conference, Brussels 2019

discussing sustainable food production