Our associate members

Linda Bellekom-allen

Linda is a food technology expert with over 35 years of experience. Currently Linda is employed as a free-lance consultant, working through Big Village Consulting Ltd ( She is a graduate of Reading University (NCFT); also Honorary Associate Professor, Nottingham University, School of BioSciences.

Linda’s experience includes:

  • Controlling the texture of foods by the use of hydrocolloids and other ingredients.
  • Hands on developer with wide ranging interests and ideas.
  • Able to advise or train without over-complicating issues.
  • Specialist in the use of the modified celluloses in food applications.


Dr Zoraida Defreitas

Dr. DeFreitas is an accomplished business executive with 18+ years of experience providing strategic and technical leadership to the food ingredient and dietary supplement industries. She has a Ph.D. in Food Science & Human Nutrition and Animal Science and an M.S. in Food Technology, both from Iowa State University. She is involved in providing product innovation and commercialization expertise to the nutraceutical industry.

Previously, she was Vice President of Research and Development at Kemin Health. Her major accomplishments at Kemin were her contributions to growing the FloraGLO® Lutein business to a global market share of 70-80 % and developing a new market category for lutein. Before, she managed the Product and Process Development hydrocolloid group of Quest International in the USA. Dr. DeFreitas has six issued patents and chaired the Senior Scientific Advisory Council of the Council for Responsible Nutrition for 3 years.

Joseph Light

Joseph Light is a career veteran at finding and developing innovative food ingredients and solving complex food formulation problems. With more than 30 years of experience, Light’s leadership has helped teams develop hundreds of innovative and patented ingredients, systems, and new food products for all regions of the world. He has served on technology steering teams with multiple industry partners and built an extensive ecosystem within the food industry globally. Having led a global network of food innovation laboratories, Light knows how to build and leverage capabilities in food formulation, CULINOLOGY®, sensory, and texture measurement. A noted expert on food texture (Food Texture Design and Optimization), he has an understanding of how to solve texture and sweet taste challenges and how to deliver a consumer preferred product.

Joe is currently the President and Founder of Food Loving Ventures, LLC, which is focused on finding and developing new food ingredients and foods and helping everyone love food more. He is advising multiple start-ups in the commercialization of their technologies. Light is currently active with the IFT and on the Board of Trustees of the IFT Charitable Foundation, Feeding Tomorrow. He is a graduate of Penn State University with simultaneous BS degrees in Food Science and Chemistry Education. He also studied for his MS in Food Science at Rutgers University. He is a 2020 outstanding alumus award winner for the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences and is a member of the Penn State Food Industry Group.

Joe is the retired VP of Global Development/Ingredient Technology at Ingredion Incorporated, a global leader in food ingredients.

Yuri Schaap

Experienced business professional with a demonstrated track record in the International Food & Beverages & Food Ingredient industry. Currently self-employed supporting (predominantly SME) companies on Business Development in order to take their business to the next level in every sense of the word.

Skilled in Food & Beverage, Food Processing, Sales, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Food Ingredient Science. Strong sales professional graduated from Amsterdam School of International Business & HAS University of Applied Sciences in Den Bosch.

Dr Weiping Wang

Before studying gum chemistry at Edinburgh University, Scotland, Weiping obtained his masters degree at a top Chinese university in food technology followed by another three years experience in food industrial research projects.

Weiping gained his PhD on gum chemistry at Edinburgh University in 1992.  Before going back to China, Weiping had worked for a UK based hydrocolloids company for 10 ten years on gum applications and for developing the Chinese market.   He took a position at Fuzhou University, China, to establish a hydrocolloids research and industrial cooperation group.  A few years later Weiping with other friends formed the Andi-Johnson group, which covers the importation of various gums into China, as well as producing carrageenan, agar and konjac at difference sites in China.  Dr Wang is also a visiting professor at Jiangnan University, cooperating with new bio gums development and applications.  He is co-author of three hydrocolloids handbooks and more than 30 research and review papers in international journals.  Currently Dr Wang is Director of the Andi-Johnson Group and is responsible for business development of carrageenan, agar, konjac and the importation of other gums into the Chinese market.