The people behind the products: Meet Tom Mullins, Senior Biotechnologist, Lallemand Bacteria Production Plant, Malvern, U.K.
Tom works on all bacteria products: silage inoculants, BACTOCELL, AVIGUARD, as well as some live yeast and yeast derivative products from other plants.
Can you introduce yourself?
I was born in Warwick and moved to Worcester at 1 year old. I have been working at Lallemand for 5 years. I joined as a general lab assistant, then moved to a customer analysis role. Now, I am overseeing quality control (QC) and customer analysis. I love animals and the outdoors. In my free time, I enjoy gardening, running, and hill walking in Malvern Hills. I dedicate some time to walking dogs for an animal rescue shelter.
What made you want to work in the Malvern Lab?
I am very much interested in science. When at school, I always looked forward to the science class. I went to study biology at the University of Birmingham. I had not heard of Lallemand before, and, when I saw the job offer, I investigated the company and thought the company approach was very interesting, with an in-depth R&D background and a highly experienced lab team.
What are your main tasks in the production plant?
I work in the microbiology lab. I am in charge of overseeing quality control and customer analysis: checking bacteria-based products but also yeast products sent over from other plants for viability and recovery. I also conduct stability monitoring studies. I run HPLC analysis on yeast derivative products to check the mannan-oligosaccharides and beta-glucan content of products. I am responsible for general overseeing of QC process in the labs.
What is your favorite and least favorite part of your job?
My favorite job is making reports for customer analysis. It really makes you feel like you have a contribution towards customer service. What I like the least is monitoring the temperatures of incubators, fridges, and freezers. Although this job is a bit tedious, it is vital to ensuring our high standards of quality.
What do you like about working for Lallemand?
First, I would say the people! I am glad to be part of a friendly and hardworking team of people who are always helpful. I also have opportunities to travel within the company, which I really love. I am close to nature, and it is nice to work for a company that tries to make a difference while contributing to moving farming and agriculture towards biological solutions and reducing antibiotics.
In your opinion, what is most important to produce quality bacteria?
To produce quality bacteria, it’s most important that we ensure there is no contamination during the whole fermentation process and that we regularly test throughout the production process for cell viability and quality.