Specialty ingredients manufacturer AAK has officially reunited with Jeffrey Fine, naming him to be the company’s senior director of customer innovation for the United States and Canada. He previously served as a consultant for the last two years and before that helped establish the manufacturer’s R&D function more than a decade ago.
Fine will oversee the customer innovation team for the company that specializes in value-adding specialty vegetable fats and oils for branded and private brand partners. His first stint with the Edison, N.J.-based company ran from 2004-2016, where he established the R&D function of the U.S. organization and evolved it into the customer innovation team for the region.
During his time he also helped set up laboratory-scale oil modifications processes and procedures in Port Newark and the development of the first margarine hardstocks for AAK's U.S. bakery business. Fine also led the research and development efforts on strategic growth-focused segments, infant nutrition and candles. He launched the first "mitigated" products for infant nutrition in the U.S. and collaborated with the wax team responsible for the improved quality and reliability of vegetable wax for AAK’s newly emerging candle business.
Fine’s career spans more than 20 years as a well-known expert in fats and oils, as well as research and development within the food industry. He earned his PhD in Biochemistry from Ohio State University and has held leadership positions at major CPG companies, as well as many industrial fats and oils R&D groups.
He’s also been a notable contributor and speaker within the fats and oils industry, speaking at the Texas A&M University Margarine and Shortening Short Course and the Danisco Margarine and Shortening Short Course. Recently, he presented “Fat-Based Confectionery Fillings” at the PMCA Production Conference, for the “Beyond the Basics – Centers for Chocolates: Almost Everything You Need to Know” session.