Xampla opens new lab as company expands commercial and technical teams

CREATOR of natural alternatives to single-use plastic, Xampla, has expanded its expert team with the addition of seven new hires and has opened a new Cambridge laboratory.

Left to right: Edyta Marek, James Ravenscroft, Audrey Caspar, Brett Harding, Sonia Tedeku and Huafu Wang

Xampla acquired the additional lab in early November 2021 to enable each of its new customer projects to expand in a dedicated space, and to increase capacity for its team of cutting edge scientists.

The facility features specialist analytical equipment for further developing Xampla’s world-first plant protein-based films, and for creating film products in applications such as dishwasher tablets.   

Xampla’s plant protein-based material has been developed through more than 15 years’ research at the University of Cambridge.  The certified B-Corp has created a world-first “natural polymer” material – a flexible, strong, edible replacement for single-use plastic. 

Audrey Caspar, a Polymer Chemist, joins Xampla after more than three years at Unilever where she managed technical workstreams for Cornetto ice-creams including packaging, formulation and process design. An expert in developing consumer facing products and claims, Audrey will lead on the planning, design and execution of Xampla’s food ingredient R&D projects as Product Development Manager.  She gained her MSci in Chemistry Engineering and Polymer Chemistry at the University Lyon in 2012.

Huafu Wang joins Xampla as Senior Analytical Chemist from his role as a Technical Consultant at Reading Scientific Services.  He has worked across the food and beverage, FMCG and environmental industries.  Huafu leads the use of the gas chromatography equipment for fragrance analysis and leads Xampla’s fragrance microcapsule stability studies.  He also supports the team with sensory performance testing.

Brett Harding moves from Hexcel, where he supported new product development for epoxy adhesives and resin systems.  As Application Scientist at Xampla, Harding will be  responsible for supporting the Research and Development team in creating natural polymer resins for the company’s pioneering seed coatings project.

Xampla also expands its commercial team with the hire of Sonia Tedeku as Marketing and Communications Manager to support the firm as it launches new products.  Sonia moves after three years at Cambridge Commodities, where she worked within the food and beverage industry on bringing a range of Vitamin formulations and blends to market.  She joins Head of Marketing and Communications, Katrina Curl, who started with Xampla last year and brings extensive experience from leading London agencies at setting strategies for major brands including Unilever, Britvic and Canon.

Edyta Marek joins as Senior Administrator with a wealth of experience supporting teams. Phoebe Williams and James Ravenscroft join the lab team as a Research Assistant and Project Assistant respectively.

With these new appointments, Xampla’s expert team has grown from its first appointment in 2020 to 27 employees today.

Simon Hombersley, CEO at Xampla, said “As our amazing team grows so does our business.  By working directly with big household brands, we expect to see Xampla’s technology in the hands of more and more consumers this year.

“Everyone at Xampla is bound together by a common commitment to make a plastic that doesn’t pollute:  one that can be grown from local feedstocks, used locally and composted back to soil locally.  We are making that dream a reality every day.”

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