FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – PureCircle has added five people to its U.S. operations. They include Dr. Sidd Purkayastha, technical director; Jason Hecker, director of marketing; Mike Wolff, sales director; Jacqueline Armstrong, sales director East Coast; and Mauricio Bacigaluppo, sales director, Latin America.

"I’m happy to announce the expansion of our U.S. team," said Jordi Ferre, PureCircle USA general manager. "These key appointments will ensure the successful growth of our business in the Americas."

Mr. Purkayastha has more than 20 years of experience in the sweetener industry and has knowledge on the structure and function of food ingredients, including sweeteners, starches, acids and hydrocolloids. He received a doctorate in food engineering from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s in business administration from the University of Illinois.

Mr. Hecker has experience working for Kraft Foods Inc. and from years of working in the consulting industry. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University.

Mr. Wolff has experience in sales, which includes working for The Nutrasweet Kelco Co. Most recently he was vice-president of sales and new product development at Tampico Beverages in Chicago. He received a bachelor’s of science degree in business administration from Marquette University in Milwaukee.

Ms. Armstrong has sold sugar and other nutritive and non-nutritive sweeteners for more than 20 years. Most recently she worked for Corn Products International.

Mr. Bacigaluppo will seek to establish a sales presence in Latin America. He has worked for food ingredient companies for 20 years. Previously he worked in sales and business development for Tate & Lyle, Johnson & Johnson, Nutrinova and Hoechst in Latin America. He received a degree in chemical engineering and speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese.

PureCircle develops, produces and markets Rebaudioside A, an all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener extracted from the stevia plant.