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.
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