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Personal profile

Personal profile

Dr Wilkin is a lecturer in New Product Development and is the business development manager for Food Innovation @ Abertay (FIA); FIA is a practical innovation support for the food and drink industry, which connects academics within the division of engineering and food science with external partners in industry.

In 2011 I joined Abertay University as a Senior Food Technologist for Food Innovation @ Abertay (the commercial arm of the Food and Drink Division) and Teaching Fellow, whereby I was given the autonomy to help shape the direction of this entity within the division.  In 2015, I took on a further role where I co-ran this entity (at the same time being promoted to Lecturer), and then in 2016, I took over the running and became the Business Development Manager for the division; here I took a leading role in obtaining Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs). 

Prior to joining Abertay, I completed my PhD entitled “the effects of storage and processing on the properties of Arachis hypogeae (peanut)”, at Cardiff Metropolitan University.  Part of the work submitted for this PhD was linked with the work carried out during my own KTP. 

I am currently a Fellow of the IFST (2018) and the Scottish Branch secretary.  My involvement ranges from helping to organise events for the IFST like the Student Launch Pad and Young Scientist Competitions; to hosting the IFST Annual Presentation (Scottish Satellite Events) and organising meeting for the local branch. I am also an active member of the Cross Party Group for Food at the Scottish Parliament and a member of SCI.

During my time at Abertay University, I have been responsible for 32 individual grants with a total value of £1.7M.  I have been principle investigator on four KTP’s, where one project won two awards in 2017 at the Scottish National Knowledge Exchange Awards, one for Innovation of the Year and the other for Building Skills.  In addition, since developing into the Business Development Manager for the division I have helped secure a further four KTPs, matching skills of staff to the skills required by the company. 

Some of the research Dr Wilkin is currently investigating is the reduction in pulling force in pin bones of trout and salmon, food texture and structure using texture analysis and micro Computational Tomography (mCT); recovery of bioactive ingredients from berry waste and utilisation of it. 


Food Safety; New Product Development; SMEs; Product Reformulations; Shelf Life; Food Texture; Fish Pin Bones


My teaching is an important part of my academic career in Abertay; my professional values for teaching closely follow employability and application of knowledge.  I am a Fellow of HEA and a module tutor on the following modules for the BSc Food and Consumer Science:

  • FOD306 - Food Safety and Quality Management
  • FOD404 - New Product Development 2

As part of the wider community within Abertay, I am a module tutor for an elective module:

  • ELE024 – Food fads, facts and fiction

Other teaching commitments within the degree programme are:

  • FOD405 - New Topics in Food – 1 lecture
  • FOD404 - New Product Development 1 – Co-Teach
  • ELE006 - Global Change – Guest lecture
  • ELE007 - Cities of the future: Science Fiction to Science Fact – Guest lecture
  • ENV309 - Food and Water Security and Sustainability – Guest lectures (4 hours)

At Abertay, we understand the impact University life can have on each individual and therefore alongside Kathryn Cairnie-Lyall, we provide academic support to our fourth year students on Food and Consumer Sciences, Fitness Nutrition and Health, and Food Nutrition and Health BSc's.

Research interests

Current research projects include the removal of fish pin bones from salmon and trout; re-use of waste in the food industry and sustainable reformulation / new product development. Sustainability and the reuse of waste products is an important part of the food industry and adding value to these are a potential area that is underutilised within Scotland.  

I have a background in lipid oxidation in stored peanuts and peanut products; and characterisation of peanut oil bodies (storage organelles within the oil seed); as well as working with over 80 companies within Scotland on a host of different product development opportunities. 



  • 1 KTP - Potato New Product Development (£172,361, CoI)


  • 1 KTP Fish Net Waste (£180,000 Co-I)


  • 2 KTP's Berry Waste (PI £240,000); Meat Snacks (£180,000 Co-I)


  • 1 KTP (2016-2019) £180,000 (PI)


  • 1 Interface Food and Drink Competition (2015-2016) £50,000
  • 7 Innovation Vouchers (2015-2016) £35,000 (PI: 3)
  • 1 Knowledge Transfer Partnership (2016-2017) £91,000 (PI)


  • 25 Innovation Vouchers (2014-2015) (£125,000 total) (PI: 16)
  • 1 Feasibility study grants from Food and Drink Innovation (2014-15)
  • 1 Knowledge Transfer Partnership (2015-2017) - 2 Year Project (PI) - £121,000


  • 18 Interface Innovation Voucher (2013-14) £90,000 (Total) (PI: 9)
  • 2 Feasibility study grants from Food and Drink Innovation (2013-14) £20,000 (PI: 1)


  • 12 Interface Innovation Voucher (2012-13) (PI: 6)
  • 1 PoP Food and Drink Innovation (2012-13)
  • 2 Innovation Portal Technology Feasibility Study grants (2012-2013) (PI: 1)


  • 8 Interface Innovation Vouchers (2011-2012) (PI: 2)
  • 2 SPARK Awards (2011-2012) (PI: 2)
  • 2 Innovation Portal Technology Feasibility Study grants (2011-2012)
  • 1 Interface Food and Drink Pump Priming grant (2011-2012) (PI: 1)
  • 1 Interface Follow On Innovation Voucher (2011-2012)


  • Awarded the IFST nomination for the IFT Emerging Leadrs Network 2019
  • A Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) and am Branch Secretary for the Scottish Branch.
  • Fellow of HEA
  • I also co-sit on the Cross Party Food Group in the Scottish Government
  • External examiner for Ulster University for Consumer Management and Food Innovation BSc and Glasgow Caledonian University for Food Bioscience BSc.

Knowledge Exchange

I am currently PI/ co-applicant on 4 Knowledge Transfer Partnership’s (KTP)

  • Stirling Potatoes - CoI Dr Atina Tziboula-Clakre
  • Meat Jerky texture, - PI Dr Athina Tziboula-Clarke
  • Recovery of bioactivies from berry waste – PI Dr Jonathan Wilkin
  • Recovery of waste from fish nets – PI Dr Boon Chu

Previous project I have been awarded and are finished:

• Recovery of waste from Potato washing / peeling – we won a Scottish Knowledge exchange award for Building skills in the company as well as Innovation of the year 2017. PI Jon Wilkin. KTP 
• Understand consumer behaviour in new product development of seaweed products PI Jon Wilkin KTP
• Assessment of processing for smoked food products – PI Jon Wilkin (KTP ceased due to recruitment issues)KTP
• Development of a new chocolate product – PI John Grigor Co-applicant Jon Wilkin, Boon Chu, KTP

The main body of work involves and our speacilism is in:


  • Recovery of waste
  • New product development,
  • Consumer studies
  • Food hygiene and safety
  • Processing, up-scaling / technical solutions
  • Marketing and consumer research


I was involved in 'How the cookie crumbles' with Baldragon Academy for Dundee Science Festival (2012); working with Websters High School (Kirriemuir) with the Princes Trust developing a new food product (2014-15).

I was on the Beachgrove Garden (November 2013); STV's 'Too good to waste - Passing it on...' (March 2014), and the BBC's Fake Britian (March 2015). Food Science videos for Chemistry Teachers on the Maillard Reaction, Lipid Oxidation, Enzymic Browning, Smoking, TLC and Emulsions (2015).

Various events, Scotland Food and Drink Federation Ambassador, Invited Speaker for the Free From Foods Interface Highlands and Islands Seminar; and Cafe Science Event (June 2015), Friends of Dundee University's Botanical Gardens (December 2015) speaking about my research.

I have co-created CPD events for Home Economics Teachers and public engagement with the Dundee Food and Flower Festival (2014) in the Discovery Tent; Teachmeet at St John's RC High School (2014).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Food Science, PhD, The effects of storage and processing on the properties of Arachis hypogeae (Peanut), Cardiff Metropolitan University

5 Jan 200917 Oct 2011

Award Date: 3 Sept 2013


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