FOOD CHEMIST: a scientist who studies plant and animal products that are used for food. Food chemists are concerned with the chemical processes that affect food before and after it is consumed, and its effect on the body. They determine whether food is safe and healthy.


MICROBIOLOGY: The study of living things so small they can only be seen using a microscope. These include bacteria, yeasts, and moulds.


OMBUDSMAN: an official who deals with people’s complaints against the government


PHYTOCHEMISTRY: the branch of chemistry that investigates chemical substances derived from plants, which may have scientific, medicinal, or commercial uses



For many years, Dr. Thomas was a judge for science fairs in the Eastern Caribbean.


Hayden Thomas (Date of Birth: 8th Oct 1935)

Caribbean Icons in STI Vol 2

Dr Hayden Thomas is known for his work on the processing and preservation of tropical fruits and vegetables and for establishing the Chemistry and Food Laboratory Division in Antigua and Barbuda.

Hayden Thomas was born in Roseau, Dominica on 8th October, 1935 and taken to Antigua as a toddler. He attended Willikies Government School and Faith and Hope High School. He was later awarded a scholarship to pursue his Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Chemistry at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Jamaica. After graduating in 1965, he went on to complete his Master of Science (MSc) in Food Technology at the University of Reading, England in 1973 and his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Food Science at the University of London, England in 1981.

As the Chief Government Chemist in Antigua and Barbuda from 1981 to 1995, Dr Thomas analysed addictive drugs for the police forces of four Leeward Islands nations, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Caribbean Regional Drug Testing Laboratory. He studied solar crop drying and new uses of exotic plants, and carried out phytochemical screening of medicinal plants. He taught chemistry at UWI’s Extra-Mural Department in Antigua and helped to initiate a first-year science programme at the Antigua State College.

Dr Thomas was a member of the editorial board of the British journal Food Chemistry. He coordinated projects funded by the Organization of American States (OAS) in food biotechnology, the environment and natural resources. He was a member of the OAS Science and Technology Committee, the Commonwealth Science Council and the Caribbean Standards Council.

In 1995, Dr Thomas became the first Ombudsman of Antigua and Barbuda. He was the founding President of the Caribbean Ombudsman Association and Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the International Ombudsman Institute before he retired in 2006.

Dr Thomas is a member of the Industrial Court. He is active in community service and sponsors the Dr Hayden Thomas Trophy for the Best Chemistry Project in the Antigua and Barbuda National Science Fair.