DENVER, June 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Lora N. Spizzirri, a research and development executive with significant experience in the food and beverage industry, has joined 915 Labs as Vice President for Packaging Solutions. In her role at the natural food processing and packaging company, Spizzirri will manage the Packaging Solutions Program from design to production, translating packaging visions, strategies and customer requests into projects and programs.
"Lora is a fantastic addition to the 915 Labs team," said David A. Behringer, Chief Technology Officer. "Her impressive packaging knowledge and depth of relationships across the industry will be an incredible asset to our packaging team, supply chain partners and customers."
915 Labs is the exclusive provider of Microwave Assisted Thermal Sterilization (MATS™) and Microwave Assisted Pasteurization System (MAPS™) technologies, which offer a healthier way to sterilize and pasteurize food. Compared to conventional thermal processing, MATS and MAPS systems shorten the time foods and beverages are exposed to high heat, which preserves nutrients, color, texture, and taste and eliminates the need for unnatural additives and excess sodium.
Spizzirri has worked for several major food companies, including General Foods and the Kraft Foods Group. She has significant leadership and research and development experience in consumer packaged goods, food, beverages, food ingredients and packaging materials and is a frequent speaker and panelist at food industry conferences.
"I am excited to join an innovative startup that is fully committed to a technology that will be the future of food," said Spizzirri. "I've seen the MATS process first-hand and tasted the products. MATS is able to provide consumers high quality, better-for-you shelf stable foods."
To establish its Packaging Solutions Program, 915 Labs has partnered with some of the leading packaging suppliers in the world to offer a range of stock and customized packaging solutions optimized for MATS and MAPS. The program integrates the best available technology, materials and resources to maximize quality and accelerate product development.
"Packaging plays an equal role with product formulation and processing parameters to maintain the quality and safety of MATS and MAPS foods and beverages," said Behringer. "Lora will help customers get fantastic products on the shelf by providing turnkey packaging solutions that accelerate the path to market for our customers."
Spizzirri was most recently the Director of Packaging Research and Design at Kraft, setting the company's strategic direction for packaging technology and design. In addition to leading a team of engineers, scientists and strategic suppliers in identifying and developing packaging technologies to deliver innovation across the enterprise, she created a framework to leverage the research capabilities of the company's suppliers, resulting in significant cost savings.
As Kraft's Director of Product/Packaging Development and Dairy Technology, Spizzirri led a renovation of the Philadelphia Soft Cream Cheese product line, which included reformulation, packaging redesign and shelf display improvements. Removing artificial colors and flavors and creating more contemporary and stackable packaging for the brand resulted in a nine percent increase in revenues in the first year post-launch.
"Beyond the functional aspects of packaging, consumers really do respond to package design," said Spizzirri. "I look forward to bringing the power of design to 915 Labs customers to help drive product sales."
In addition to leading the development of next generation of MATS and MAPS packaging formats and functional materials, Spizzirri will manage the internal packaging team at the new 915 Labs Food Innovation Center. The center, due to open at the end of 2016, will feature a pilot-scale MATS/MAPS system for product development, testing and training.
Spizzirri earned a bachelor of science in packaging science from the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.
915 Labs is headquartered in Denver. The company's product line includes a pilot-scale MATS-B for recipe and food product development, several commercial scale production systems with a range of processing speeds of up to 250 packages per minute, and MAPS systems for small-scale pasteurization.
Source: PR Newswire