An Interview with Duncan McBain, Regulatory Manager


Duncan McBain joined Treatt over 25 years ago, as the PA to the Technical Director. His current role is Regulatory Manager, which involves looking after regulations, food law, Globally Harmonised System (GHS) and labelling requirements. Duncan works closely with the Technical team ensuring that there is a strong awareness of the legislation governing our industry, in order to control the safety and efficacy of our products.

We interviewed Duncan to find out more about him and his role with Treatt:

What do you enjoy most about working at Treatt?

Just about everything really. My role means that no one day is the same as another. You never know what you may be asked about next.

How do you stay up to date with regulations?

I represent Treatt on the UK Flavour Association Technical and Executive committees and represent the UK Flavour Association on the European EFFA FLEX (Flavour Experts) Group and these industry bodies keep their members updated on legislative developments.

Over the years, I have also built up a network of technical contacts and if any of us come across something we think is of importance we tend to spread the word if only to try and get a consensus as to what it means for us. I have found that people in my field of work tend to communicate quite openly and so we spend a lot of time dancing around Intellectual Property issues in order to gain knowledge from each other without revealing information about our business commercially.

Also, I read a lot. Not just industry related journals and the like. Quite often you will find a snippet in a national newspaper or on the BBC news website that will lead to a bit of useful information. The trick is to spot the link between what may at first seem an unrelated story and something that may impact on the business.

What do you think will be the next big change or challenge in our industry?

I believe the next biggest change will be increased regulatory restrictions, across the globe. We already have positive lists of materials that can be used in flavourings in many territories like the EU, China, Indonesia etc. That means these countries have bouncers on the door and “If it’s not on the list it’s not coming in!” Many other areas are following suit and the problem is that these lists are all different so what is allowed in one territory may not be in another. As a supplier of flavourings, it means that sometimes products must be reconfigured to ensure compliance with local regulations, which seem to be changing almost daily.

Read more about life at Treatt or discover what opportunities there are to join our global, growing business.