Expert Advisory Panel

FoodNavigator’s expert advisory panel counsels the editorial team on topics from regulation and food policy to consumer trends, markets, product formulation and technical developments. The aim is to keep us at the forefront of the hot topics impacting our sector.

Building key industry relationships helps inform FoodNavigator’s off-diary content and insight into the issues shaping the food industry of the future.

The Panel

Sophie Hieke

Sophie Hieke

Head of Consumer Science, European Food Information Council (EUFIC)

Dr Sophie Hieke is Head of Consumer Science at the European Food Information Council (EUFIC), a non-profit organisation established in 1995 which stands up for science-based information on food and health. Among other things, she has been the Principal Coordinator of the EU FP7 funded project CLYMBOL – Role of health claims and symbols in consumer behaviour.

Sophie is also a professor for Marketing & Communication at Munich Business School, where she teaches behavioural marketing and consumer behaviour.

She holds a PhD from the Munich School of Management at Ludwig-Maximilian-University, Munich. Her main area of research is consumer behaviour and psychology, specifically decision-making regarding food, health and lifestyle. She has been a visiting researcher at the University of Surrey as well as a research fellow at the Munich Centre of Health Sciences and the Center for Marketing and Public Policy Research at Villanova Business School, Philadelphia.

Sophie has published in several journals including the Journal of Consumer Affairs, Appetite, Food Policy, Food Quality & Preference​ and the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition​ and held a position as Associate Editor for Public Health Nutrition​ from 2015 to 2019. She has won several prizes for scientific publications, including the “Emerald Citation Award” in 2017 and “Best Paper of the Year” by the American Council of Consumer Interest, ACCI, in 2012. She also serves as a reviewer for several high-ranking scientific journals.

Marion Nestle

Marion Nestle

Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, New York University

Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, at New York University, in the department she chaired from 1988-2003 and from which she retired in September 2017. She is also Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She holds honorary degrees from Transylvania University in Kentucky and the Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York. She is the author of six prize-winning books, including Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health; Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety​ (2003); and Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning)​. Her most recent book, Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat​, was published in 2018.

Fred Yamoah

Fred Yamoah

Senior Lecturer, Birkbeck - University of London

Fred A. Yamoah is a Senior Lecturer at Birkbeck - University of London, UK. He has researched and engaged with food supply and value chains stakeholders throughout his career. He has explored the role of power asymmetry in the food supply chains. Fred has also led overseas collaborations with food industry partners to build sustainable food value chains.

He has published on food related themes in many journals including British Food Journal, International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Marketing Review, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Cleaner Production, Thunderbird International Business Review and International Journal of Production Economics. 


Katy Askew

Managing Director, IFIS Publishing

Katy joined IFIS in 2023 as Managing Director. She has 19 years of experience in publishing, with the last 16 focused on the food sector. Before joining IFIS Katy was Senior Editor at William Reed, where she oversaw the flagship FoodNavigator brand.

She remains an active member of FoodNavigator’s Editorial Advisory Panel. Her areas of interest include innovation, nutrition and sustainability.

Liz Richardson

Liz Richardson

Managing Director, HeyHuman

Liz is one of the three Managing Partners part of the Management buyout of HeyHuman.  Liz was involved in the re-launch and re-positioning of the agency and developing alternative agency models.  Throughout Liz’s career she has launched multiple brands, and has extensive experience working with a range of clients; from start-ups to big corporate businesses.

Her experience has been invaluable to HeyHuman, as a growing business itself Liz has been part of HeyHuman’s growth and successes; from winning awards to new entrepreneurial clients as well as developing existing relationships with major clients.

Luca Bucchini

Luca Bucchini

Managing Director, Hylobates Consulting

Luca Bucchini is managing director of Hylobates Consulting, a food regulatory affairs firm based in Rome. Since 2004, Luca has provided regulatory affairs support for the food supplement, sports nutrition and for the food industry. He was trained in biology, and specialised in food risk assessment and public health in the United States. Most of his work is associated with food information regulations, with regulatory assessment of substances and of products, with risk assessment and with submissions or dossiers.

He participated in several EC-funded research projects (on micronutrients, botanicals in supplements, food risk communication and food allergens), and has been a lead contractor to EFSA. He often writes articles on regulations of supplements and food in the specialised press. He is also one of the directors of Eurofir, the European association of food composition databases. Luca is also Vice-Chair of the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance. 

Katia Merten Lentz

Katia Merten-Lentz

Partner, Keller and Heckman

Katia Merten-Lentz is an EU-wide leading practitioner in food and feed law at international law firm Keller and Heckman. Katia heads the firm’s EU Food and Feed Team that consists of both lawyers and scientists in Brussels and Paris.

She supports clients throughout the food chain with issues ranging from Marketing (food labeling, health and nutrition claims, organic labels) to Food Innovation (nanomaterials, genetically modified organisms, novel foods).

She also helps clients obtaining European authorization for new additives, enzymes and novel foods. Katia has both counselling and litigation experience. She represents clients before national and EU courts and helps them managing food crisis (recall or withdrawal of products, risk assessment, etc.).

Following her expertise Katia regularly works with academic institutions, European and national professional bodies, and commercial organizations. She also acts as mentor for several start-up companies.

Emilia Nordlund

Emilia Nordlund

Research Team Leader, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd

Dr Emilia Nordlund, D.Sc. (Tech.) heads VTT’s Food Solutions team, targeted at more unrefined plant-based foods and at developing new product and processing concepts for an efficient and sustainable future food chain. She has expertise in bioprocessing – especially enzyme technologies – of plant-based ingredients for food applications. Recently, she has been exploring cellular agriculture and ways to support healthy eating via new food delivery and eating concepts.

Natasha Medhurst

Natasha Medhurst BSc (Hons), FIFST

Scientific Affairs Manager, Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST)

Since studying Food Technology at University of Reading, Natasha has taught food science in Asia, and has worked in research and development, quality assurance, technical services and regulatory roles, across the food industry internationally, hence her sound knowledge of ingredients, packaging, labelling and finished products.

She is currently Scientific Affairs Manager at Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST), responsible for generating new scientific materials, for members and other interested parties, as well as responding to external technical enquiries. She supports the Scientific Committee, coordinates the wide range of Special Interest Groups and acts as an external scientific representative for collaborations with other relevant organisations. She supports and unites food professionals (including researchers, academics, consultants and factory technical teams) for the advancement of the sector. She is also an IFST Fellow.

Rene Floris

René Floris PhD

Division Manager Food, NIZO Food Research

We see fast and radically changing consumer demands. René Floris is as Division Manager Food leading a group of NIZO experts in the fields of protein and food research. NIZO offers development and pilot production of innovative new food products to help to meet these changing demands. This enables him to be involved in state of the art food research. He, and his team translate this research to food applications delivering real solutions for customers. René: “amid all this change, one age-old fact of food production remains: if it doesn’t look, feel and, above all, taste right, it won’t sell”.

René obtained his PhD at the University of Amsterdam in protein chemistry and enzymology. Applied protein technology is where his scientific passion lies, with 10 patents and more than 60 peer-reviewed papers he is very active in his field.

”The positive effects of food, and food ingredients, on consumers fascinate me”

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