Circular food systems based on emerging up- and downstream concepts to target more sustainable food

August 21, 2019

An interview with Prof Alexander Mathys, Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) in Sustainable Food Processing at the ETH Zurich, Switzerland. He will be discussing new challenges in food science and technology at the upcoming EFFoST International Conference held in Rotterdam.

What will you be discussing at the EFFoST conference? Can you give a sneak peek?
Taking a systems-oriented approach to food production, our team researches the entire value chain. Multi-indicator sustainability assessments serve as a foundation for the development of our food production. We evaluate selected mechanical, biotech, thermal and non-thermal techniques to move towards improved food security, better waste utilization, and healthy and high-quality food production. Testing innovative algae and insects production concepts enable new ways to develop a more sustainable food supply. 

How did you come to work in this field?
My love for Food Tech and Science began as an undergrad. After completing a Master’s degree, I had the privilege to travel the world to investigate the science behind food processing. Following a Doctorate, I worked in industry for one of the largest food research centers in the world, there I learnt about the real-world impact of research. At ETH Zurich I found my perfect working environment that combines exciting research with impactful projects.

What current and upcoming developments in your field are you most excited about?
In our group, we align fundamental science, sustainability, engineering, and biotechnology to achieve one major goal: Improving the world’s food production and processing systems. The integration of these competencies is driven by great collaborations with academia, research and industry. Some exciting developments have come forth from theses collaborations, such as novel protein supply systems based on microalgae and insects, waste utilization by black soldier flies, and emerging processing techniques for bacterial spore control.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Alexander Mathys is a food technologist and received his Dr.-Ing. in food processing in 2008. As Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) in Sustainable Food Processing at the ETH Zurich, Switzerland, he focuses on more efficiency and sustainability of value chains in food and feed. To stay informed of his work, please connect with him on LinkedIn, TwitterResearchGate, Google Scholar, and Publon.

We hope you will join us in November at EFFost2019!


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