On the evening of the 7 May, a group gathered in the Atrium, a beautiful venue at Firmenich South Africa’s offices in Midrand, to celebrate the graduation of the students who studied the SAAFFI-Wits Course in Flavour & Fragrance Technology during 2023.

This course, which is held annually at Wits University School of Chemistry, and is also available online, comprises 12 lectures and 3 practical sessions. It is offered to 2nd year Applied Chemistry students at Wits, and is open to interested members of the flavour, fragrance and FMCG industries. While it is a South African based course, students from as far as Chile in South America have participated.

The flavour & fragrance industry is a little-known industry – but touches our lives from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, enhancing products from air fresheners to zaatar-flavoured snacks.

The graduating students – 7 from Wits university and 16 from the flavour & fragrance industry, spoke of the value of this course, and are inspired to build their career in this fascinating industry.

Words of welcome and thanks were offered to Shimadzu for their generous annual sponsorship, Mike Capon & Sensetek for their sponsorship of student prizes, Dr Maya Makatini, course-coordinator for the programme and the entire Wits School of Chemistry for their support and partnership, Firmenich for the use of the venue, lecturers who dedicate their time to this course pro bono, facilitators of the practical sessions, the SAAFFI management committee and employers who pay for their employees to enrol, and give them the time needed to complete the course.

The guests invited by the graduates – parents, spouses, family, friends and even children children of a graduate – displayed a sense of pride in their “person” for an excellent achievement.

The programme for the evening included a welcome from Sharon Bolel, Executive Director, SAAFFI, encouraging words and good wishes form Dr Karina Rogers, chairperson of the SAAFFI management committee, congratulations from Prof Charles de Koning, Head, Wits School of Chemistry and a delightful speech on behalf of the students, given by Keegan Capito, a graduating student.

The evening was concluded in a celebratory mood with delicious refreshments and enjoyable networking.

For more information about the 2024 course, please contact Sharon Bolel on sharon@saaffi.co.za or check the SAAFFI website www.saaffi.co.za.