Robert Sobel

Robert Sobel

Vice President, Research & Innovation at McCormick Flavor Solutions

Bob Sobel is the Vice President of Research and Innovation at McCormick Flavor Solutions and the lead faculty member for the company's Flavor University Program.


Dr. Sobel joined McCormick through the 2020 acquisition of FONA International, where he previously led FONA’s advanced science and technology program and was responsible for innovation management, intellectual property strategy, strategic technology partnership development, and end-to-end technology commercialization management. His current leadership within McCormick includes directing the research and development of new and novel flavor encapsulation delivery systems, taste modification technologies, clean flavor extracts, and the employment of artificial intelligence for automated flavor analysis.


Dr. Sobel has over 25 years of industrial flavor R&D experience and began his flavor industry career at FONA International in Geneva, Illinois. Before McCormick and FONA, Bob was a chemistry and physics instructor within the secondary and undergraduate settings. 


Bob Sobel is a published researcher in Analytical Chemica Actica, The Journal of Chemical Education, ACS Omega, and Perfumer & Flavorist and the editor and author of “Microencapsulation in the Food Industry.” Dr. Sobel actively gives a variety of food industry technical symposia on topics such as controlled release of flavor, neuroscience of flavor perception, machine learning within the food industry, and strategic industrial innovation management. He is the primary inventor on over 20 patent matters.


Dr. Sobel received a B.S. in Chemistry from Northern Illinois University, his M.A. in Educational Leadership from Aurora University, and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northern Illinois University. He is a board member of Northern Illinois University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Waubonsee Community College Scientific and Business Advisory Boards.