Behind the scenes with…. an SVZ Product Technologist
At SVZ, we’re passionate about creating high-quality, sustainably sourced fruit and vegetable ingredients – and it’s our fantastic team that makes it all happen. From agronomy to R&D and customer support, every stage of the supply chain is handled with care.
That’s why we’re shining a spotlight on our colleagues and the work they do in a new blog series – to learn about their day-to-day work, motivations and challenges.
Meet Marcel van Boesschoten, our Product Technologist.
What’s your background?
I studied Food Technology at Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences, before then working for several cereal businesses as an R&D Technologist and Quality Manager. My focus there was typically on product development and working with raw, natural materials, which put me in prime stead for a role at SVZ! I started here as a Product Developer more than 12 years ago.
What does your job as a Product Technologist involve?
I’m part of the Process and Product Development (‘P&PD’) team, and I think we’re often seen as a linchpin of the business! Our role involves listening to customer requirements such as achieving a specific flavour profile or texture, and then looking at the supply chain in terms of varieties available, growing areas and processing to understand how these requests can be achieved within a successful application. We’re responsible for linking different departments together to ensure a cohesive process: from planning, to agronomy, to quality assurance.
In terms of my day-to-day work, I’m mostly involved in setting up new product development projects, managing product trials and communicating with everyone from agronomists in the fields to the customers themselves.
Has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your job?
Well, my monthly visits to Spain and Poland to visit factories and farmers have now been replaced by WebEx calls! It was definitely a steep learning curve at the beginning of the pandemic, but now all of our processes are running smoothly. There’s also been a new emphasis on knowledge sharing – as we’re not there in person to set up products and assist customers, we need to train partners to store ingredients correctly and evaluate the samples themselves.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Probably the variety of the role – my work is rarely the same day-to-day and I’m involved with several aspects of the business. I also believe in and align with SVZ’s core values – especially our focus on sustainability and creating healthier options for consumers.
What are you most looking forward to in 2021?
We have two new projects launching this year which the team have put a lot of effort into, and we’re really looking forward to introducing them to the market. The first is fermented ingredients, which really offer something new and tap into the prevailing trend for naturally produced, healthier food and drinks. The second project looks at how to develop fruit and vegetable ingredients that have a white colour and neutral taste – our formula has a lower sugar content for blends and also helps customers be creative with the final colour of their product. The entire SVZ team is really looking forward to adding these two new concepts to our product portfolio!
It’s thanks to team members like Marcel that SVZ can continue producing premium, tasty fruit and vegetable ingredients for leading global food and beverage manufacturers. Interested in learning more about our processes and products? Get in touch with the team today.