Fat is where it’s at.

Fats, glorious fats.

Does everything that tastes good have to be so bad? For us. For animals. For the environment.

The answer is no.

Nourish Ingredients are on a mission to change the way the planet looks at sustainable, plant-based alternatives.

We’re talking about the lavish creaminess of a glossy dollop of cream, sitting on top of a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth apple pie.

Or a juicy burger, with that perfect, crispy, salty grilled surface. A single slice of gooey, bitey cheese hanging over the sides.

Sorry, where were we? Oh yes, what we’re trying to say is:

We don’t want people to settle for substitutes, we want people to crave them.

Salivation salvation.

The fats and oils of Nourish Ingredients transform how we experience plant and alternative protein foods. And it’s thanks to the magic of something called the Maillard reaction.

Maillard reactions occur when special food ingredients, including lipids, are transformed by heat to produce new flavours, aromas, and colours. When the animal-free lipids of Nourish Ingredients contribute to these reactions, we can create the same incredible taste, aroma and experiences we expect when we cook animal proteins, such as roasting or grilling a quality piece of meat or fish.

Without the right fats, plant-based products just don’t have the ingredients needed for the Maillard reaction to create an experience that is comparable! And that’s where Nourish comes in. Our animal-free fats make plant based products taste as good, if not better, than the real thing.

A bunch of hungry scientists walk into a lab.

James Petrie

Co-founder and CEO

Ben Leita


Chief Scientist

Scientific Adviser

Anna El Tahchy

Chief Technical Officer

James Petrie Co-founder and CEO

Dr James Petrie is an experienced crop metabolic engineer, who spent 13 years working at CSIRO as a research scientist as part of the Plant Oils Engineering Group before co-founding Nourish Ingredients. During his time at CSIRO, James was a part of the team who spearheaded the creation of omega 3 canola – the world’s first plant based and sustainable source of omega 3.

As CEO of Nourish, James is turning his expertise in synthetic biology to the plant-based meat and dairy space. He’s passionate about making tastier and more sustainable animal-free fats accessible to the world.

Ben Leita

Dr Benjamin Leita is a founder and entrepreneur with a passion for bringing deep scientific technology to the market. He is an experienced manager and chemical engineer with a demonstrated success in the research and startup space. Ben’s past work includes engineering a way to create green bio-based PET Coke bottles, using eucalyptus oil.

As the Co-Founder of Nourish, Ben brings to the table a unique hybrid skill set in the deep tech startup industry, chemical engineering and renewable energy.

Surinder Singh
Chief Scientist

Nourish is fortunate to have the advice and mentorship of Dr Surinder Singh, Chief Research Scientist at CSIRO, Australia’s national science research agency. Surinder’s fields of research include agricultural biotechnology, biochemistry and cell biology, plant biology and renewable energy.

Surinder pioneered the successful genetic modification of fatty acid composition in the seeds of canola to offer the same health benefits that we get from eating fish. Among a long list of notable achievements, he is also a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

Anna El TahchyChief Technical Officer

Dr Anna El Tahchy is a key innovator in Agriculture and Food, with extensive experience in lipid engineering and food chemistry.

During her time at CSIRO, Anna demonstrated success in leading complex R&D, such as the creation of new concepts for the engineering and production of novel food ingredients.

As Chief Technical Officer at Nourish, Anna will apply her extensive biochemistry experience to drive continued innovation and meet the needs of our customers and their consumers.

Robert de Feyter

Head of IP

Anthony Musumeci

Commercial Director

Heinrich Kroukamp

Technology Lead, Synthetic Biology

Katie Leupin

Head of People and Culture

Robert de Feyter Head of IP

Rob is a highly experienced intellectual property manager who has used his plant engineering R&D background to create a uniquely blended skillset of science and IP strategy. Rob built the CSIRO RNAi and Omega-3 portfolios and brings a deep understanding of how to create a strong and enduring patent landscape around novel technologies to his role as Head of IP at Nourish Ingredients.

Anthony MusumeciCommercial Director

Dr Anthony Musumeci brings over a decade of commercialisation and early-stage technology investment experience from some of Australia’s leading universities and Venture Capital funds. He has extensive experience in the establishment, operation, and growth of deep-tech start-up companies from both a corporate governance and operational perspective.

As Commercial Manager at Nourish, Anthony focuses on core operations, financial and market strategies to enable rapid growth and success.

Heinrich Kroukamp
Technology Lead, Synthetic Biology

Dr Heinrich Kroukamp is a molecular biologist with extensive expertise in yeast genomics and biotechnology. Over the past 11 years, he has developed and led research projects in the fields of yeast genetics, biofuels, bioinformatics, synthetic genomics, protein and aroma compound production.

As the Technology Lead in Synthetic Biology at Nourish Ingredients, he brings his in-depth knowledge of yeast genetics, biotechnology, and synthetic biology to create biobased products for a more sustainable future.

Katie Leupin
Head of People and Culture

Katie Leupin is our passionate people person. In her role as Head of People and Culture at Nourish Ingredients, Katie is responsible for providing support to the business in key areas such as HR Management, Employee Engagement and Organisation Development and Culture. Katie’s goal is to build a supportive and positive culture where our people can enjoy a collaborative, cohesive and connected team environment – and approach their work with a one team, one mission mindset.

Jane Redfern

Head of Marketing and PR

Kyle Reynolds

Project and Regulatory Manager

Dandan Tian

Laboratory Manager

Jiang Wu

Fermentation Team Lead

Jane RedfernHead of Marketing & PR

Jane Redfern is a strategically-driven, creatively-minded marketer with 15+ years of multi-category brand and product marketing experiences. Jane’s experience has taken her internationally, working in New York, Toronto, London and now Sydney, with a diverse mix of local and global businesses, including brands in food & beverage, retail, lifestyle, technology and FMCG. As the Head of Marketing & PR at Nourish Ingredients, her objective is to support the team to create a strong and ownable brand and take their compelling story to the world in a way that creates strong commercial outcomes.

Kyle ReynoldsAssistant IP and Regulatory Manager

Dr Kyle Reynolds brings his experience in both scientific research and regulation to work as the Assistant IP and Regulatory Manager for Nourish Ingredients. His eight years of research expertise have been within the fields of agriculture, biochemistry, cell biology and biotechnology. He also has experience working for regulatory bodies that manage plant biosecurity and genetically modified organisms. Kyle is passionate about applying his expertise at Nourish to deliver delicious and novel foods to the consumer.

Dandan Tian
Laboratory Manager

Dr Dandan Tian is a passionate biomedical researcher with a clinical medicine background. She has nine years of experience in molecular biology, and has managed both preclinical (laboratory) and early-phase clinical trial research. Dandan has also completed projects in blood cancer metabolism and treatment, nutrition and brain development, as well as intervention in liver diseases progression induced by genetic mutations or high cholesterol or a high fat diet.

As the Laboratory Manager at Nourish, she brings to the team her research capabilities and her experience in laboratory and project management, as well as her knowledge in human and health research.

Jiang Wu
Fermentation Team Lead

Jiang is the Fermentation Team Lead at Nourish Ingredients. He holds a PhD in molecular biology and biotechnology from Murdoch University. Jiang has more than 30 years experience in academic and industrial research in fermentation, food science and microbiology. This involves the utilisation of microorganisms in the production of primary and secondary metabolites, including antibiotics, enzymes, antioxidants and food products.

Pegah Farokh

Synthetic Biology Scientist

Ruth Purcell

Synthetic Biology Scientist

Grace Wangari

Synthetic Biology Scientist

Alex Miller

Lipid Analyst

Pegah FarokhSynthetic Biology Scientist

Dr Pegah Farokh is a Synthetic Biology Scientist at Nourish Ingredients. She trained in plant cellular and developmental biology as a PhD candidate. As an active researcher, she has worked for the ACT Department of Crop Adaptation, and at CSIRO in a photosynthesis group studying increased carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in genetically modified wheat and tobacco, in collaboration with the Australian National University. Pegah’s strong interest in deep metabolic molecular concepts also led her to join the Plant Oil Engineering group at CSIRO where she was an active member of her team.

Ruth PurcellSynthetic Biology Scientist

Ruth recently graduated with a Bachelor of Philosophy from The Australian National University after completing her Honours in biomedical science and biochemistry. Through this research-intensive program, she developed a skillset spanning molecular & cell biology, genetics, and immunology. Ruth has also spent time in South Africa working in microbiology and pathology labs.

Ruth is passionate about technologies that simultaneously aim to improve human health and promote environmental sustainability. As a Synthetic Biologist at Nourish, she combines her experience working in a diverse range of research labs with her desire to contribute to the development of healthier and more sustainable foods.

Grace Wangari
Synthetic Biology Scientist

Grace is a dedicated biotechnologist, holding a Master of Biotechnology degree from the University of Queensland. Her skills span across the molecular engineering and protein synthesis fields. She has a keen interest in the commercialisation pathway of biotechnological products in a startup setting.

Alex Miller
Lipid Analyst

Alex studied Applied Science (Biotechnology, Biochemistry) with Honours at Queensland University of Technology, and has worked at CSIRO Agriculture and Food, dealing with both plants and yeast, in the area of lipid optimisation and analysis.

As Lipid Analyst at Nourish Ingredients, Alex is passionate about contributing to Nourish’s pursuit of high-quality cutting-edge lipid-based food development, through lipid analysis at the lab bench.

Lillian Caruna

Analytical Scientist

Xiaomei Li

Laboratory Support Officer

Freddie Loyman

Analytical Team Lead and IP Assistant

Hanh Nguyen

Food Science Lead

Lillian CarunaAnalytical Scientist

Lillian is an Analytical Scientist at Nourish Ingredients. She has an undergraduate degree in biochemistry at UNSW and has also recently completed her Honours degree, focusing on starch deuteration in yeast at the National Deuteration Facility at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.

Lillian’s current role at Nourish Ingredients focuses on the extraction and analysis of experimental fats produced in the Nourish lab. She is a huge foodie (in a previous life she worked as a chef) as well as passionate about science and encouraging young women into STEM.

Xiaomei LiLaboratory Support Officer

Xiaomei Li is the Laboratory Support Officer at Nourish Ingredients. She holds a Bachelor of Medical Science from Nantong University and went on to become a physician in China for a number of years. She is experienced in technician work, specifically in the field of microbiology and also has an interest in plant breeding.

Freddie LoymanAnalytical Team Lead & IP Assistant

Freddie Loyman is a food, medical and analytical scientist, with 20 years of experience working at CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. At CSIRO Freddie worked on a range of challenging projects – from increasing the yield production of wheat, to finding a herbicide to address the agricultural impact of the wild radish weed, as well as the analytical science behind canola, and extracting oil from yeast.

Freddie holds an MBA from the university of Canberra and recently completed a Master of Laws and Intellectual property at ANU. As Nourish’s Analytical Team Lead, Freddie applies his skills to the challenge of creating delicious plant-based alternative proteins that are as good as the real thing.

Hanh NguyenFood Science Lead

Hanh Nguyen is a food scientist with expertise in food microstructure and rheology, food digestibility, fermentation, and fermented food products. Hanh has worked in food R&D for more than 17 years across several countries and a wide range of food materials, including dairy, meat, plants, and vegetables.

As the Food Science Lead at Nourish Ingredients, Hanh is passionate in applying her knowledge and experience to create new novel food ingredients and innovative processes to create tastier, healthier, sustainable foods.

Laila Kalash

Laboratory Support Technician

Laila KalashLaboratory Support Technician

Laila Kalash is the Laboratory Support Technician at Nourish Ingredients. She studied at the Canberra Institute of Technology, has previously worked as medical technical assistant, and has excellent technical assistant skills, as well as being experienced in sterilisation equipment.

Laila is a lover of good food and is passionate about creating new taste experiences for the world that are also healthier.

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Hungry for more?

Whether it’s to feed your curiosity, or feed the world, get in touch via the contact form and we’ll get right back to you.