SPOILERS2013 Scientific Committee > Balkumar MARTHI (Unilever)
Balkumar Marthi (1958) obtained his PhD in Microbiology from the University of Delaware, USA, studying stress responses in bacteria. Subsequently, he joined the US Environmental Protection Agency in Oregon as part of the Risk Assessment Team.
In April 1991, Balkumar joined Unilever as Research Scientist, Microbiological Safety, Hindustan Lever Research Centre, Mumbai, India. He continued in Mumbai until 2003, where his last position was as Principal Scientist & Head, Microbiology at Hindustan Lever Research Centre.
He moved to Unilever Food & Health Research Institute (UFHRI), Vlaardingen, the Netherlands in December 2003, as Science Area Leader – Microbiology, and then took over as Expertise Group Director – Biosciences.
In his role Balkumar is responsible for global food microbiology research and business support, including product & supply chain microbiology, mild preservation and production of bioactives by microbial fermentation.
Currently, Balkumar is the Principal Food Microbiologist for Unilever and serves on the Leadership Team of the Vlaardingen Laboratory.
Balkumar sits on various public bodies including the Theme Commission, Top Institute for Food and Nutrition (TIFN), The Theme Commission for Food Safety of the Dutch TopSector Agri-Foods. He is Co-chair of the “Foods that Consumers Trust” Working Group of the European Technology Platform Food 4Life, and has served as industry representative on the EU Public-Privaye Partnership on Biobased Materials. Balkumar also sits on the Biotechnology & Bioengineering Programme Advisory Board of TU Delft. Regularly lecture on general science, innovation and society in various academic fora.
In his spare time, he is the Chairman of a Not-for-Profit Foundation called the Indo-Dutch Cricket League (IDCL). He also volunteers his time to coach youngsters in the game of cricket and captain a senior team.