See below for the already confirmed speakers for the OFI Technical Commercial Conference


Chair: Kevin Warren Smith, Chairman, Lipids Group of the Society of Chemical Industry and Lipid Scientist, Fat Science Consulting

Kevin gained 30 years’ experience in the chemical and physical properties of edible oils and fats within Unilever Research, and a further 15 years’ as a consultant in the same area.

He is a leader in lipid science, having an established reputation in palm oil, confectionery fats and chocolate. He consults on fats & oils, chocolate products and processing, ice cream products and process development, margarine product development, vegetable oil degradation and contamination during shipping, and university research projects, especially linked to industry sponsorship.

Special refining of low-grade oils for food and fuel consumption

Andrea Bernardini, Commercial Director, Technoilogy

Andrea Bernardini is the Commercial Director of TECHNOILOGY, world leader in the supply of plants for vegetable oil Extraction and Refining, and Biofuel Production.

He is a C-level executive with over 15 years of international experience in the Oils & Fats industry and has played a crucial role in the strategic positioning and growth of the family-owned company, especially in the field of Advanced Biofuels. In 2020, he created 3 branch offices in UAE, India and Malaysia to further expand company’s international activities.

Andrea is part of the third generation of Bernardini family and grew up under the leadership of his father Mario Bernardini, one of the most influent and renown personality of the vegetable oils and fats Processing industry.

After graduating in Law, he spent several years around the world to work on the erection and start-up of Biodiesel plants and Vegetable oil Refineries. acquiring an in-depth expertise in Vegetable oils and Fats Processing.

Ensuring the safety and quality of fried goods with focus on formation of arcylamide and trans fatty acids – latest regulations and developments

Dr. Ludger Brühl, Department of Safety and Quality of Cereals, Max Rubner-Institut (MRI)

Born in 1962, Dr. Ludger Brühl studied Food Chemistry at the University of Münster, Germany. After his practical year at the German food survey at Hagen he came back to the University of Münster for his PhD thesis.

Since 1993 he works as a scientist at the Max Rubner-Institute, Federal research institute for food and nutrition of Germany on oils and fats. From 2007 until 2022 he scientifically supported the German Agricultural Society for their quality program on oils and fats.

He is active in the German Society for Fat Science (DGF) as head of the national standardisation committee of oils and fats and member of the DGF working group of product safety.

Analytical perspective of MCPD esters and Glycidyl esters in processed food

Ian de Bus, PhD, Project Lead Organic Contaminants, Wageningen Food Safety Research (WFSR)

Ian de Bus is project leader Organic Contaminants at Wageningen Food Safety Research, Dutch NRL for Processing Contaminants in food. Ian is responsible for leading development, implementation, and harmonisation of analytical methods according to European and National guidelines. MCPD(E), GE, MOSH/MOAH, acrylamide, furans, and lately also nitrosamines are examples of Processing Contaminants that are studied and analysed at WFSR. Analytical developments and renewed scientific insights require continuous optimisation of our analytical methods to ensure safe and healthy food.

Before joining WFSR Ian obtained a PhD at Wageningen University on the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids, after which he led analytical programs for drug development in collaboration with pharma at Sanquin Health Solutions.

Production and processing of Renewable Diesel (HVO) and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

Priscilla Costa, Sales & Business Development Manager - Renewable Fuels at Crown Iron Works

She has a Bachelor's degree in Control System Engineering and an MBA in Strategic and Economic Business Management. In the past 20 years, she has worked in various industries (Oil and gas, hydroelectric energy, food and beverage).

Over the previous five years, she has been working in the Renewable Fuels market at CPM Crown Iron Works as a Global Sales and business development Manager, marking her career path to support CPM's business in feeding, fueling, and engineering a better world.

Speciality fats - new crystallisation and separation technologies to improve melting technologies

Dr. Véronique Gibon, Consultant, Artemis Lipids by VG

Dr. Véronique Gibon is graduated from the University of Namur (Belgium), earning a Ph. Chemistry in 1984.She started her career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Namur (Belgium). In1995, she was hired as R&D Manager by the Belgian engineering company Fractionnement Tirtiaux. She later moved (2005) to the R&D Center of Desmet in Zaventem (Belgium),where she held the function of R&D Project Manager and Science Manager until end of 2023.

She is now acting as a consultant (Artemis Lipids by VG) with a specialty in edible oils process support and improvement, and R&D–Refining, Fractionation, and Interesterification. She is the author of numerous scientific publications and worldwide presentations on oils and fats.

Designing bleaching earths and activated carbon – the science and art

Dr Pat Howes, Technical & Marketing Director, NATURAL BLEACH SDN BHD

Chlorinated paraffins – the latest contaminant of concern

Dr. rer. nat. Kerstin Krätschmer, Project leader, Scientist, Wageningen Food Safety Research

Kerstin has a PhD in food chemistry and is currently head of the Dutch NRL POPs situated at the WFSR in Wageningen, the Netherlands. She earned her PhD at the European Union Reference Laboratory for halogenated POPs in Freiburg, Germany,while building an active network of experts in chlorinated paraffins/ polychlorinated alkane analysis throughout the EU and beyond.

Within her current work as project leader in the team of organic contaminant analysis at the WFSR, she can apply her expertise in POPs, European food law and different types of chromatography to the fullest effect.

Processing and refining from the producer’s perspective and the use of waste feedstocks – the Neste experience

Sven Kuhlmann, Vice President for the Production of Renewables, Neste

Sven Kuhlmann is Neste’s Vice President for the Production of Renewables. In this role he has global responsibility for leading and growing Neste’s renewable production through developing assets and people.

More specifically Sven oversees Neste’s renewables refineries in Rotterdam and Singapore, as well as renewables production in Porvoo, Finland and supporting global functions. Prior to joining Neste, Sven held various leadership positions at global leading chemical companies. Sven holds a degree in Chemistry from Aachen University and a degree in Chemical Engineering from Erlangen-Nuremberg University.

Recent developments in analysis of processing and environmental contaminants in edible oils and fats including MOSH/MOAH and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

i. A. Dr. Torben Küchler, Health and Nutrition, Food Chemist / Product Manager, SGS Germany GmbH and Vice President of German Society for Fat Science (DGF)

Graduate food chemist, Product manager for laboratory services in food and feed analysis at SGS Germany. Previously laboratory manager for 15 years, specialised in fat and oil analyses. Member of the ISO/TC 34/SC 11 standardisation committee. Vice President of the German Society for Fat Science (DGF).

Mitigation of MCPDEs, glycidyl esters (GE) and MOSH/MOAH and in edible oils – latest processing and refinining strategies

Antonios Papastergiadis, Senior R&D Engineer and Laboratory Manager, Desmet

Optimising filtration in the bleaching process

Bart Scholten, Group Business Development Manager, Envirogen Group

Bart Scholten is the Group Business Development Manager at Envirogen Group, with a strong focus on the vegetable oil market.

With 30+ years in the filtration of vegetable oils,Bart has held different technical and business development roles, including setting up the new standard for vertical pressure leaf filters.

The growing demand for waste feedstocks - optimising yields and energy efficiency in rendering

Björn Schlüter, Sales & Service Director, HF Press+LipidTech, Harburg-Freudenberger Maschinenbau GmbH

I am mechanical engineer by profession, who worked his whole career in sales. I work since three years in the edible oil industry heading the sales and service department at Press+LipidTECH.

My team’s goal is to increase process yields for our customers by offering highly durable equipment with the main focus on screw presses. We provide solution for single machines, brown field projects or complete new facilities.

Prior to the edible oil industry, I worked for nearly a decade in the tobacco industry for the global leader for tobacco processing equipment and cigarette manufacturing machines. The tobacco processing has lots in common with oilseed processing. The experience I have gained in tobacco, I can share with clients at crush plants.

Latest policy update and EU regulatory limits on mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH) (remote presentation)

Veerle Vanheusden, DG Sante, European Commission

Latest policy update and EU regulatory limits on mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH)

Veerle Vanheusden, PhD, Policy officer - Unit E2 – Food processing and novel food, Directorate General Health and Food Safety, European Commission (remote presentation)

Veerle Vanheusden holds a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences (medicinal chemistry) from the University of Ghent (Belgium), where she graduated in 1999 as a Pharmacist.

Before joining the European Commission she worked in the private pharmaceutical sector (organic chemistry and analytical chemistry).

Veerle Vanheusden joined the European Commission in 2013, where she worked for 4 years as a policy officer in the Unit "Pesticides and Biocides" of the Directorate General for Health and Consumers. Since September 2017 she moved to the DG SANTE unit dealing with Food processing technologies and novel foods, where her main areas of activity are the EU policy and legislation on contaminants in food.

MOSH/MOAH origins and mitigation in the supply chain

Speaker TBC, Cargill