Case Studies

Here you can browse some examples of the projects Acumentia members have participated in. Most of the commercial activities that we are involved in are confidential but these case studies give a flavour of how we can help our clients.


Incident Management for the Food Standards Agency (FSA)

Acumentia members, Kaarin GoodburnPeter Reilly and Dr David Baines working with RAB Consultants, experts in resilience and flood risk consultancy, and Escott Hunt, one of the largest providers of exercise media in the UK, successfully completed a series of exercises to test the FSA’s new Incident Management Plan in 2015 including:

  • a table-top exercise to embed the new Plan into the FSA; and
  • a two-day multi-agency control-post exercise to test the plan against a UK-wide food incident involving multiple Government stakeholders, industry, media and triggering COBR (Cabinet Office Briefing Room A).

The key role of the Acumentia team was to develop the scenario and all the technical injects.


Functional Ingredients

A group of 9 Acumentia consultants (Catherine Side, Dave Baines, Bernie Radford, Ian Smith, Alan Banyard, Wendy Jones, Chris Lawson, Ron Lawrence and Lindsey Bagley) together with two collaborators from Reading Scientific Services Ltd (RSSL) (Melindee Hastie and Sarah Marshall) carried out a desk research study in 2009 for a producer of performance nutrition beverages. Their report gathered information from the literature on 24 available ingredients identified as having potential for label claims as functional ingredients; eight of these were recommended as warranting more serious investigation. This clearly demonstrated how the skills and knowledge of many members can rapidly combine to produce a very thorough and extensive investigation.


Sustainable Food Production

A team of Acumentia consultants, including Dave Baines, Kaarin Goodburn, Mike Shaw, Ian Smith and Melanie Brown, undertook a desk research assignment for the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Chemical Engineers to assess sustainable food production and the implications for the chemical sciences. The report was published in 2009 by the RSC as ‘The Vital Ingredient’ (

The expertise provided by Acumentia covered the whole food supply chain, including primary production, food processing and manufacture, distribution and retail, consumer, and supply chain waste.


Food Safety

An Acumentia team consisting of Kaarin Goodburn, Dave Baines, Melanie Brown and the late Catherine Side carried out a desk research study for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2010-11 to identify and define innovative technologies in the area of food production, ingredients processing and packaging that may impact on EFSA’s work in the medium and long term. The Acumentia team was led by Kaarin Goodburn and worked in collaboration with the Institute for Food Studies and Agro-industrial Development (IFAU) in Denmark. The project required a broad understanding of food technologies across the entire food chain.


Flavour Benchmarking

Acumentia undertook a benchmarking exercise for a major player in the flavours and seasonings market in 2011. The Acumentia team, Dave Baines, Lindsey Bagley and Melanie Brown, brought expert knowledge of the flavour and seasonings market as well as market research and product evaluation expertise. The project reviewed competition and patents in the field and conducted a technology audit and SWOT analysis against key competitors.