Treatt’s success is built on the skills, knowledge and personalities of our people. Our brightest technical minds take pride in developing the solutions of the future. Here is just one of the team who make Treatt a leader in the industry.
Name: Juan Baso
Position: Tea & Coffee Process Specialist
Location: Treatt’s US offices in Lakeland, Florida
What does your role with Treatt entail?
I’m essentially a chemist, focused on tea and coffee extract product development.
What is your typical working day like?
It really varies. Some days I’m working on prototypes and developing on a small scale, while other days I’m providing input on a certain process to support the scale-up of product development. Other times, I’ll be supporting the sales team as the team pursues new business development opportunities. My job involves interacting with a variety of groups and departments, to create solutions that are scalable, sustainable, and meet the needs of customers and consumers.
How did you come to work in this industry?
By accident really! I originally trained in pharmaceuticals and drug design, particularly within diabetes, strokes and cancer. So, I started out working for a bio tech company in California but I left and came back to Florida where I fell into this industry. I really enjoyed working out what chemical components made things taste a certain way and ended up falling in love with food and drink products. I’ve now been working in the industry for about 10 years.
What skills do you need to do your job well?
An understanding of chemistry and its role in food and beverage ingredients. An understanding of mechanics and machinery is second to that as it means you can help develop the processes required to make the precise product you need and to scale things up once you have. Finally, you need to be quick-thinking and good at communicating complex things in a simple way.
What is your favourite part of your job?
Firstly, I love making something new. Being the first to do something is really fun. Secondly, I enjoy having the chance to contribute to the team - the best in the market. It’s really gratifying.
What do you like most about working for Treatt?
I like that Treatt is focused on the science behind the production of flavour and fragrance ingredients. It means that we are real experts at identifying, extracting, and developing solutions for our clients. Equally, I really appreciate Treatt’s approach to decision-making. They are innovative and solution-focused but never knee-jerk in their responses to opportunities or challenges.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Professionally, I am proud of the value that we’ve generated in the market place by developing new products and creating new jobs. I’ve also really enjoyed collaborating with universities; guest lecturing, advising professors and helping students get that edge as they come out of college through the Almer Mater food science programme.
On a personal level, I am really proud of having trained and leash-broken my dog. He is a Shiba Inu, which is a Japanese breed of dog known for being hard to train and discipline, so I think it’s quite an achievement!
How has Covid-19 affected your day-to-day work?
Lately, we’re so busy that it feels likes Covid-19 hasn’t had much of an impact at all! However, there was a slow period and we decided to take that time to focus on new technologies. The time was actually valuable, and we now have some great new products with supporting data to present to clients, as a result.
What trends can you see coming in the coffee industry for 2021?
In the coffee industry, Premiumisation is definitely the next big thing. Coffee has been through quite a journey since the ‘80s when it was more about caffeine and the functional, energy aspect of the drink. In the mid ‘90s, coffee was served black and had a focus more on quality, which drove consumer demand towards more premium hot brews, as opposed to instant coffee or a functional caffeine hit. This was soon followed by an expansion of the coffee drink range, with milk-based options like Frappuccino’s and lattes becoming mainstream. Then, in the early and mid-2000s, came a wave of premium arabica black coffees that really began to shift demand towards the premium, high end market. With coffee now wide-reaching, producers had to find other ways to gain traction in the marketplace and they did this by focusing on coffee quality, regions and sustainable sourcing. This has intensified further with greater scrutiny on the supply chain as the consumer has shown increasing concern for Fairtrade assurance and transparent provenance.
For me, Premiumisation is a natural next step. With sustainable coffee in a variety of forms now available for mainstream products, coffee producers need to look at creating high end and exclusive options that can only be achieved through distinctive flavour. And this is where Treatt really stands out. We have a range of intense extracts that consistently deliver an unrivalled depth of flavour and quality. By guaranteeing a consistent, superior taste within our extracts, we enable FMCG beverage brands to capitalise on growing coffee trends, including the latest Premiumisation one.
What’s your favourite drink?
Well… I’m meant to be cutting back on caffeine but Café con Leche is still my favourite drink!
To find out more about Treatt or our products, please visit www.treatt.com.