MELVILLE, N.Y. — Peter J. Calabretta, Ph.D., chairman and founder of Melville-based Comax Flavors, died Jan. 19 at age 85. He served on various committees for The Flavor and Extracts Manufacturers Association and previously worked for Hoffman-LaRoche, Stauffer Chemical and Felton International.
Mr. Calabretta founded Comax Flavors in 1977. The company now creates customized flavors and customized solutions using a variety of proprietary flavor technologies for a range of applications, including baked foods, snacks, beverages, alcohol, dairy, confectionery items and plant-based products. Comax uses research on food, beverage and lifestyle trends to create annual presentations.
Dr. Calabretta was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. He received three degrees in chemistry from St. John’s University: a bachelor of arts in 1955, a master of science in 1958 and a Ph.D. in 1965. A Peter J. Calabretta, Ph.D. Scholarship Fund now is awarded annually to a current student.
Dr. Calabretta in 2018 received the Distinguished Alumni Award. That same year Comax Flavors opened the Dr. Peter J. Calabretta Center for Innovation in Marlton, N.J.
Dr. Calabretta is survived by Louise, his wife of 62 years; children Peter Calabretta Jr., Paul Calabretta, Laura Ferrante, Claudine Muccini and Catherine Armstrong; and seven grandchildren.
Donations should be payable to St. John’s University and sent to St. John’s University, Office of Gift Planning, 8000 Utopia Parkway, Queens, N.Y. 11439.