Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, is proud to announce the appointments of Yukiko Ando Ovesen and Usha Manduru as Master Flavorists, becoming the first to receive the company’s prestigious designation in over four years. They will join Firmenich’s elite group of only six Master Flavorists who have achieved the highest level of excellence and achievement in their field, while exhibiting exemplary leadership qualities and a lived commitment to Firmenich’s values.
“We have always celebrated the essential role our Creators play and the talent and expertise they bring,” said Firmenich chief executive officer Gilbert Ghostine, “Our Flavorists are truly at the heart of our business, and it is a very significant and proud moment for us to appoint our two new Master Flavorists. Throughout their respective careers, Yukiko and Usha have reached the highest levels of performance as flavorists,” adding, “Equally as commendable as their achievements in creation, is their loyalty and the deep commitment they have both shown as leaders to the growth and development of our flavorist community through ongoing mentoring and training.”
“Usha and Yukiko are undisputed leaders in their fields and have been instrumental in developing winning taste solutions for our customers and providing successful mentorship to colleagues. Their unrivaled creativity embodies excellence, together with the best of our Firmenich values. Their significant contributions to making healthier food & beverages, which also deliver a delightful eating experience, are among the driving forces that will accelerate global Diet Transformation,” concluded Firmenich President Taste & Beyond, Emmanuel Butstraen.
The Master Flavorist distinction was first introduced by Firmenich in 2013 to recognize the select few flavorists within the Group’s creative team who have attained mastery of their craft, demonstrated impact for Firmenich customers through successful projects and advancement of innovation. Master Flavorists shape food & beverage experiences that are considered benchmarks within the industry.
Yukiko Ando Ovesen’s career as a Flavorist has spanned over three decades, and she has been with Firmenich for the last 30 years. In 2019, Yukiko was appointed a Principal Flavorist and was promoted to the role of Asia Creation Director, leading the region’s flavorist community. She is also a four-time Patrick Firmenich Award winner, recognizing her excellence in creation and her outstanding use of Firmenich ingredients to bring unique signatures to customers’ products. She is highly regarded by customers for her ability to quickly understand and deliver on a project’s unique needs. Yukiko is passionate about accelerating Diet Transformation, and is constantly striving to create more delicious and nutritious food & beverages. Notably, her contributions in the area of taste modulation are unsurpassed in the industry, and she is passionate about working with Firmenich flavorists in Asia to advance their knowledge and skills within this critical area. Yukiko is also committed to driving Firmenich’s digital transformation, actively participating in the development and successful implementation of new digital tools, including artificial intelligence, and systems designed to support and enhance the work of flavorists.
Usha Manduru joined Firmenich as a trainee in 1988, and in her successful near 35 year career as a Flavorist with Firmenich, has earned a stellar reputation for excellence in her field and her highly client-oriented approach. She is the palate behind many iconic tastes that continue to be enjoyed by billions of consumers across the world. Usha is a Patrick Firmenich Award winner and was appointed a Principal Flavorist in 2019. She has played an important role in the ongoing transformation of Firmenich’s ingredients palette into natural, and is an expert in several key tonalities, including vanilla and fruits. Usha is also highly skilled in Firmenich’s encapsulation technologies, and was responsible for making possible organic certification of the group’s leading Durarome and Flexarome flavors. Usha has spent countless hours training many of Firmenich’s successful flavorists during her career and is regarded as a highly collaborative source of knowledge within Firmenich, who works closely with teams throughout the world to share her insight and expertise.