Member profile

Dr David Mela

Last updated: 21 July 2021

Dr David Mela followed his PhD in human nutrition with a 35-year academic and industry research career. He is a Registered Nutritionist (Nutrition Science, Public Health), and Fellow of the Association for Nutrition, and has published over 100 professional papers on topics ranging from consumer behaviour through energy metabolism and metabolomics. Since retiring in June 2019 from his role as a Senior Scientist in Unilever R&D, he has continued to be involved in a number of research, advisory and consultancy roles.

Dr Mela’s main research expertise is in the biological and behavioural aspects of eating behaviour, energy balance and metabolism, and assessing the potential influence of different dietary exposures and interventions. In Unilever, he was part of research programmes to assess the potential health and wellness impacts of different dietary guidance, foods and ingredients, and gave input into related technical and regulatory issues.

His public appointments include membership of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) since 2005, and Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 and 2021 panels. Other activities have included chairing and membership of International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI Europe) Task Forces, and roles as an advisor and reviewer for a range of EU and national research programmes and projects.

In 2019 he was appointed the SACN representative to ACNFP. 

Register of interests

In line with FSA policy and established good practice for accessing external expertise, Scientific Advisory Committee members are required to declare any personal or non-personal interests which represent a real or potential conflict in respect of general or specific aspects of work undertaken. Interests will be managed in accordance with the FSA’s policy and guidance. 

If members have interests not specified in these notes, but which they believe could be regarded as influencing their advice or other work for FSA, they should declare them. However, members are not under any obligation to search out interests of which they might reasonably not be aware. For example, either through being unaware of all the interests of family members, or of not being aware of links between one company and another. 


Personal Interests

Category of Interest           

Organisation / Body and Nature of Interest 


Unilever (2006-present)

Membership, affiliation, trusteeships or decision-making position with relevant organisations

Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition  (2005-present)

Scientific Industry Advisory Board, EU Project SWEET (unpaid) (2019-present)

International Advisory Board for the Graduate School VLAG, Wageningen University & Research (unpaid) (2016-present)


Personal Interests

Category of Interest       

Organisation / Body and Nature of Interest 

Direct employment

Unilever (1998-2019)

Other fee-paid work from relevant organisations, consultancies

Danone (2019)

Non-Personal Interests

Category of Interest           

Organisation / Body and Nature of Interest 

Other non-personal interests

BBSRC DRINC Steering Group (Unilever representative) (2014-2019)

ILSI Europe, Task forces Chair and Member (Unilever representative) (2001-2018)