Product R&D

Let's Make Something Tasty Together!

At Fuchs North America, our approach to R&D is part science, part creativity – along with a solid commitment to rapid turnaround and delivering quality products.

We utilize multidisciplinary product development teams consisting of key scientific and technical capabilities, such as:

Food science  •  Biochemistry  •  Organoleptics  •  Nutrition  •  Culinary

Our R&D specialists are among the most experienced in the industry.  Our food technologists and other R&D team members possess a broad range of food formulation and applications knowledge – honed by years of practical, hands-on experience – to deliver creative, innovative product solutions to you.

Culinary Specialists

untitled 790Our culinary staff is made up of trained chefs who are experts in a wide variety of cuisines.  They come from a rich background in foodservice and restaurants in addition to food processing.

Operating out of our culinary centers in the U.S. and Europe, our specialists will work with you to achieve that elusive “highest pinnacle” of taste sensation … flavor balance … texture and appearance.

R&D Team Commitments

Our R&D teams are also committed to providing:

  • Quick turnaround on samples
  • Sensory analysis
  • “Clean and fresh” flavors – tastes that meet or exceed your expectations
  • Proprietary product formulations that are distinct and differentiated
  • Onsite field formulation – we’ll come to you to develop a product
  • Improved cost structures (price targets … cost optimization)

Support that’s Far from Ordinary

What makes our R&D teams more useful and beneficial to you?  Our resources here in the United States are backed by the global capabilities of Fuchs Group.  This cross-cultural R&D partnership delivers our global expertise in all sorts of ways:

  • Product matching
  • Product testing and process consulting
  • Sensory analysis
  • Product development and menu development
  • Value engineering and cost controls
  • Gluten-free, GMO-free and other healthy/organic options

Meet Our Team

Dan Grazaitis, Director of Research & Development

Dan Grazaitis joined the Fuchs team as the Director of R&D  in 2019. He received his B.S. in Biology from Towson University before entering the work force in food science. He has extensive experience applying hydrocolloids in end use applications including dairy, bakery, dressings, sauces, beverages, confections, and non-food applications. Dan has shown success in taking innovative concepts from development to broad market launches in a wide variety of applications. His skillset includes hydrocolloids, proteins, sweeteners, rheology, applications development, innovation pipeline management, and product scale up.

Howard Cantor, Corporate Executive Chef

A classically trained chef through Johnson & Wales University and an ACF apprenticeship, Chef Howard Cantor has truly done it all – owned restaurants, served as the Executive Chef at a beach club in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and worked in R&D for food manufacturers and a restaurant chain. Chef Howard returned to Fuchs in June 2019, having previously served as our Corporate Executive Chef from 2006 to 2015.

Alyssa Chircus, Senior Food Scientist

Alyssa Chircus has a bachelor’s degree in Food Science from the University of Delaware. She has an extensive background developing complex layered seasonings for the snack food, baked goods, and dairy categories. In her free time, she continues her passion for food through various fermentation projects including homemade kimchi, mustards, and sourdough breads.

Eric Collins, R&D Facilitator

Eric is the glue that holds the lab together and helps make sure projects are finished and products flow smoothly from R&D to our customers. He also helps coordinate sensory testing in our new sensory lab.

Brian Duffy, Culinologist

Brian graduated in 2014 from the Culinary Institute of America where he received his associate degree in culinary arts and his bachelor’s degree in culinary science. His passion is bringing the culinary arts and food science together to bring new food experiences to our customers.

Annette Hottenstein, Sensory Scientist

Annette Hottenstein holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from The Pennsylvania State University and an Master’s of Science in Food Science from Texas A&M University. In addition to being a sensory scientist, she is also a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). For hobbies, she enjoy hiking, traveling (been to 15 countries so far), cooking, and playing classical piano.

Nicole McKinnell, Food Scientist

Nicole McKinnell is a Culinary Institute of America alumni and graduate of the CIA’s Culinary Science program. Starting out in baking & pastry arts, she has experience in the frozen dairy field as well as fresh food production. With a passion for tracking and interpreting market trends, Nicole is excited to help bring customer visions to life.

Courtney Stokes, Associate Food Scientist

Courtney has spent 17 years in the food industry, with 11 of them spent focusing on savory applications. She’s currently working on her BS in Food Science at Kansas State University.

Brian Swing, Food Scientist

Brian has a background in Chemistry, which he studied at Stevenson University. He’s been with Fuchs for over four years, and he prides himself with coming up with creative solutions for customers’ development needs.

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Fuchs North America