Great Blakenham: Omega Ingredients flavours firm celebrates expansion

Steve Pearce of Omega Ingredients with Stefan Gates

Steve Pearce of Omega Ingredients with Stefan Gates - Credit: Archant

A natural flavours and ingredients firm has launched a creative and innovation suite as part of its expansion plans.

The Omega Ingredients team celebrate the launch of larger premises

The Omega Ingredients team celebrate the launch of larger premises - Credit: Archant

The new site, in Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, will double the operating space for Omega Ingredients, which was founded in 2001 by biochemists Steve Pearce and Elizabeth Pearce.

To celebrate the official opening of the new premises this week, BBC TV presenter and food writer Stefan Gates attended a launch party, along with 80 other guests from across Suffolk and the food and beverage industries.

He joined guests as they were given flavour demonstrations and shown some of the company’s latest products.

They were given a tour of the new facilities and a demonstration of the firm’s innovative equipment.

They include a highly specialised machine that separates flavours and mixtures and identifies components. Other equipment includes a spray drier, which takes a liquid flavour and turns it into a powder.

Guests were also introduced to a new range of flavours from Omega Ingredients called KiiNotes, a range of provenance-drive natural flavours and extracts which are the traceable and transparent.

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Examples include Sicilian lemon, Brazilian lime, Ecuadorian Passionfruit, Scottish Raspberry and English Blackcurrant. The new range will have a distinctive logo so buyers know they are getting the best quality naturally-derived flavours available.

Stefan said: “About four or five years ago, I was making a series all about E numbers and we were trying to make something which most people find intensely boring, mildly interesting. We worked with Steve and did lots of different things to change people’s perceptions about food.

“Steve has got a real sparkle in his eye, he is incredibly creative and when he was talking me through how you build a flavour, he kind of sprinkles a bit of stardust on it, he makes it exciting.

“I’ve met some other flavourists and they’re not trying to create new things, which is why Steve’s work is so innovative.

“That is why today is really exciting for me, because Steve is absolutely brilliant. Congratulations. This is unbelievably exciting.”

Omega Ingredients, which now has a turnover approaching £2million, was founded in 2001 by biochemists Steve Pearce and Elizabeth Pearce, who have decades of experience within the international food and drink ingredients sector.

“We have had quite substantial growth year on year,” said Elizabeth.

“It’s really very exciting.”

The firm has invested around £80,000 in fitting out its new 3,000sq ft building for purpose, and achieved British Retail Consortium Global Food Standards certification, which is unusual for its size, she added.

The firm has also set up an American division, launched last year, to tap into the very large American market, under sales representative Christine Daley.

“It’s a big target market,” she said.

Stefan’s work has been featured in the BBC TV series E Numbers, Channel Four’s Food Unwrapped, Channel Five’s Super Scrimpers and the ITV Tonight programme, What’s in Our Food?

In November last year, Steve and Elizabeth received an Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Salford in recognition of the distinction they have attained in the field of biochemistry throughout their careers.

Steve is a biochemist with 30 years of experience who advises global sector leaders on scientific possibilities and probabilities, trends and predictions in flavours, ingredients and fragrances innovation.

He is a Chartered Scientist and Fellow of The Royal Society of Chemistry and Past President of The British Society of Flavourists.