Lesaffre appoints Christine M’Rini Puel as Chief R&D Officer

Lesaffre, a key global player in fermentation, announces the appointment of Christine M’Rini Puel as Chief R&D Officer. As such, she joined the Group’s Executive Committee on 1st of January 2022. She succeeds Carmen Arruda, who is taking over the management of Biospringer, following the appointment of Brice-Audren Riché as CEO of Lesaffre.


“I fully share Lesaffre’s values and desire to innovate in all its sectors of activity. Indeed, the study of micro-organisms and fermentation represents a fantastic potential for innovation in food and nutrition & health sectors, whether human, animal or environmental.  I am therefore delighted to put my thirty years of experience at the service of Lesaffre’s ambition to work together to better nourish and protect the planet”, says Christine M’Rini Puel.

 “Research & Development has always been at the heart of Lesaffre’s DNA and represents one of the major pillars of our development strategy. We are delighted to welcome Christine M’Rini Puel as head of this department. Thanks to her wide-ranging experience, she has the ideal profile to continue to accelerate innovation in our two main business areas: bread-making and nutrition & health”, adds Brice-Audren Riché, Lesaffre’s CEO.



Christine M’Rini Puel holds a doctorate in medicine and a doctorate in science. She started her career in 1990 at the Faculty of Medicine and Rangueil Hospital in Toulouse, as an Assistant and then Senior Lecturer and Hospital Practitioner in Human Physiology. During this period, she completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School in the USA.

In 2006, she became Deputy and then Director of the Science and Technology Department at the French Embassy in China. She was in charge of bilateral scientific relations between France and the People’s Republic of China.

In 2008, she joined Institut Mérieux, a holding company of 5 companies including BioMérieux, the world leader in infectious disease diagnostics, as Scientific Director. During this time, she was introduced to the world of bacteria and other micro-organisms such as yeast. She led numerous public-private collaborations, including an ambitious gene therapy programme.

In 2013, she joined Danone as R&D manager in the fresh dairy division. In 2017, she was appointed Vice President Research and Innovation of the Medical Nutrition division in Utrecht, The Netherlands. In 2019, she became Vice President Research and Innovation for all Health & Science topics in the Specialised Nutrition division (Infant Milk and Medical and Specialised Nutrition). In particular, she led Danone’s Research and Innovation programmes on microbiota, immune system defence and/or muscle, bone and cognitive ageing, in search of new natural, microbiological or fermentation-based solutions.

Member of several boards of directors, Christine M’Rini Puel was named Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite in 2010.