Our Company > Technical Expertise

Harvest Innovations Research and Development Team is an Industry Leader

Harvest Innovations has one of the leading research teams in the United States in the development of food products from grains, legumes and oilseeds.  No chemicals or artificial ingredients are used in the development of the Harvest Innovations food ingredients. The Harvest Innovations Research and Development team have over 100 combined years of scientific development experience in creating food products.

The members of our team are as follows:

Dr. Wilmot B. Wijeratne

Director of Food Technology
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Dr. Wilmot Wijeratne has devoted over three decades of his professional career to research, development and technology transfer in the area of grain processing and utilization in food systems.  Dr. Wijeratne’s development work includes functional ingredients based on combinations of cereal grains, legumes and oil seeds. “Dr. Wilmot”, as he is sometimes referred to, served fifteen years at the University of Illinois, Urbana, Champaign, in various capacities involving research, instruction and technology transfer.  As a result of this experience, Dr. Wilmot is known nationally as a leading expert in the field of natural grain processing.

Dr. Noel G. Rudie

Director of Research
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Dr. Rudie has developed numerous products for the pasta, dairy, baking and beverage industries over the past twenty years.  After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in Biochemistry, Dr. Rudie went on to development work at Hershey Foods Corporation, Kraft Foods, Inc. and Opta Food Ingredient, Inc. (Now known as “SunOpta”).  Most recently, Dr. Rudie led the research and development group, as well as the operations group, at Soy Link, LLC.  In his seven years at Soy Link, he developed products for the dessert, pasta, beverage, nutritional bar, and gluten-free industries.

Giovanni Santi

Technical Sales Manager
Giovanni (“Gio”) is an expert in legumes and grains that can be used to make pasta.  Along with Dr. Noel Rudie, Gio has invented for Harvest Innovations a unique pasta fortifier that can be used in all forms of pasta including dry, fresh, frozen, food service and gluten free to improve bite, create elasticity and prevent dissolution of the pasta from water over time. A 1986 graduate of I.T.I.S. in Trevisio, Italy in mechanical engineering, Gio has spent over 25 years becoming one of the foremost experts in technical formulations of pasta including ingredients, their use in formulations and the equipment needed to make all types of pasta. Gio is the technical leader for Harvest Innovations in revolutionizing the making of gluten free pasta.

Regena Butler

Product Development Specialist, Quality Assurance Manager
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Regena graduated from Iowa State University earning a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science.  She has devoted the past nineteen years working as a technical professional in the food ingredients manufacturing industry.  While employed with Proliant, Inc., Regena performed product development and application research of protein ingredients for value added functional, nutritional and flavor applications for the food industry. For the last five years, Regena has assisted in the utilization of soy proteins and other oil seeds in the food industry.