Adam Janczuk on the Richness of a Sustainable Food Experience

As humans develop more sustainable, more ethical, and more exciting ingredients than those just a generation ago, challenges remain. Just because we can grow a new more sustainable food ingredient doesn’t mean people will eat it willingly - or enjoy it enough for it to be shared and adopted. As Vice President, Global R&D - Nourish at International Flavors & Fragrances, Adam Janczuk sees how great food is enjoyed and shared, and how to make sure everything we eat is part of the sensory experience our bodies crave. As part of our We Grew It: Now What? thoughtstarter session at Space for Food - From Vision to Reality, he’ll help us understand how to do food better wherever we eat.

What are you doing in your work?

Developing the next generation of functional food ingredients and flavors that people love. Working together with major food & beverage brands, private labels, and food service providers to deliver great tasting, trustworthy, and nutritious products for their consumers.

What prepared you for what you're doing?

I actually started out with a passion for chemistry and had a chance opportunity to work on fragrances and flavors, or scent and taste. I fell in love with the concept of how they can help to improve the quality of life day to day. Whether it’s through a calming aroma, refreshing beverage, or nutrient rich bar, I quickly gained an appreciation on how much you can actually influence on the personal level.

What's an indicator that a food system (or space habitat) is working for the people in it?

When the meal becomes an experience that is anticipated as opposed to necessary.

What is the most interesting work going on right now in your area?

The evolution of food and beverage, exploring new ways to satisfy the desire for nutritious and exciting taste experiences. While at the same time ensuring these products are developed in sustainable, eco friendly, and transparent ways.

What innovation outside your direct area is most interesting to you?

Space colonization, the expansion of the human race beyond the stars. I'm a Trekkie at heart, grown up watching all the series, fascinated by space exploration and the creative ways the series showed how to sustain life.

What problem related to Space for Food most needs to be addressed?

Sustainability without compromising on the nutrition and taste, especially for longer space travel like missions to Mars.

Who is doing the most interesting work in your area (other than you, of course!)?

Upcycling side streams, growing food from tissue cultures and converting green house gases to produce high quality functional food ingredients. Companies such as Solar Foods, Calysta, Shiokmeats, Memphis Meats, BlueNalu, Algenuity, and Triton Algae Innovations to name a few are exploring creative ways beyond the traditional harvesting (e.g. agriculture, animals).

What's your favorite food, space, or ag memory?

Pizza and Soft Chocolate chip cookies. Simple indulgences that can be consumed at any time of day or night.

What inspires or recharges you?

Family for sure, road trips, exploring new places. I love to hike, especially mountains and off the beaten trail, the physical and mental exhaustion help me to reflect, pause, and recharge. What even more exciting is you never know what to see at the top, and the anticipation that no matter what it will be awesome!

Meet Adam and other leaders in the intersection of food and the future at Space for Food- From Vision to Reality, where Adam will be part of our We Grew It: Now What? thoughtstarter session and our town hall session on where Space for Food will go next. You can also follow IFF on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.