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Don Mottram


Retired as Head of Flavour Chemistry Research Group in October 2010, but continues to work with the group on a range of projects.



Building location

Harry Nursten

Areas of interest

Flavour research at Reading has a long established reputation and the group has strong links with other research groups in many countries. The group has particular expertise in the flavour chemistry of the Maillard reaction. We played a leading role in the worldwide investigation into the formation of acrylamide (a possible carcinogen) in heated foods. The practical objectives of the research are to gain understanding of the chemical and biochemical reactions which lead to the formation of flavour and other trace chemical compounds in food, and to provide means of controlling these reactions.

Particular areas of interest include:

  • chemistry and biochemistry of flavour formation in foods
  • role of the Maillard reaction in the thermal generation of aroma
  • interactions of flavour compounds with structural food components
  • chemistry of meat flavour
  • flavour and taste components in fruits and vegetables
  • formation of acrylamide in heated foods.

We have well-equipped flavour research laboratories with a range of flavour extraction techniques and state-of-the-art GC-MS and LS-MS-MS equipment, as well as excellent sensory analysis facilities.

The Flavour Centre

We work closely with the food industry and through The Flavour Centre will undertake short-term flavour investigations using chemical and sensory methods, as well as longer term research projects.

The LRI and Odour Database

The Flavour Group has produced a database containing information on the chromatographic and sensory properties of aroma compounds, compiled from our own analyses and from other published papers. The database is available at

Academic qualifications

  • BSc (Leeds)
  • PhD (Leeds)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC).

Awards and honours

Research Awards

  • American Chemical Society Award for Advancement of Application of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2008)
  • Royal Society of Chemistry Medal for Food Chemistry (2003)
  • Littlejohn Medal from British Society of Flavourists, for research in flavour chemistry.

Professional bodies/affiliations

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC).


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