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University of Helsinki

UH – University of Helsinki

University of Helsinki is the oldest and largest university in Finland. It has repeatedly been ranked among world's top universities. It is an international academic community with more than 40,000 students and members of staff. It operates on four campuses in Helsinki and has 11 faculties with numerous departments.

The Department of Food and Nutrition is the largest food campus in Finland and provides a dynamic and innovative environment for education and research. The Department has strong chemistry and microbiology expertise (e.g polysaccharides, proteins, anti-nutritional compounds and VitB12 biosynthesis). The competence in biotechnologies applied to plant-based food, such as cereals, faba bean, and side-streams, has led to participation to large national and international projects, putting UH team at the forefront of EU research.

Most of the members working in HealthFerm belong to the Grain Technology group. The group studies and imparts knowledge on the physical and chemical characteristics of cereal grains and grain legumes. Its goal is to contribute to the development of wholesome, delicious foods for the world's expanding population. Beta-glucan and other cereal fibers, cereal and pulse proteins, flavor, fermentation and bioprocessing of grain-based raw materials, and grain safety are the main areas of its current research.

Role in Healthferm

Prof. Kati Katina will lead the University of Helsinki team. Her main research area is the nutritional, flavor and structure forming characteristics of grain-based ingredients and foods as well as processing induced changes in these materials. She will lead work package 2. University of Helsinki will work in Work Package 1, focusing on isolation and characterisation of microbes and design of functional consortia for plant-based fermentation. In Work Package 2, University of Helsinki will develop a semi-solid dairy alternative model to be used in the intervention trials of Work Package 3. Other tasks include investigating the molecular status of fibers and proteins before and after fermentation, as well as conducting metabolomic research (in collaboration with University of Turku and University of Eastern Finland) in connection to flavour.

Team members

Photo of Prof. Kati Katina
Prof. Kati Katina
Professor of Food Science
Photo of Dr Rossana Coda
Dr Rossana Coda
University Researcher (Food Microbiology)
Photo of Dr Noora Mäkelä-Salmi
Dr Noora Mäkelä-Salmi
University Lecturer (Grain Technology)
Photo of MSc Fabio Tuccillo
MSc Fabio Tuccillo
PhD researcher
Photo of MSc Silvia Cera
MSc Silvia Cera
PhD researcher
Photo of Prof. Pekka Varmanen
Prof. Pekka Varmanen
Professor of Food Science (Molecular Dairy Microbiology)
Photo of Associate Prof. Ndegwa Maina
Associate Prof. Ndegwa Maina
Associate Professor (Food Chemistry)