Top Expert in Food Metabolomics Kati Hanhineva Selected as Professor in Nordic Food


In 2018, the University of Turku received a donation from the Raisio Research Foundation worth of €500,000 for funding the first five years of the professorship in Food Development with special focus on Nordic foods and their health effects. The new professorship focuses on the study of the plants cultivated in Finland, supports the export of Finnish foods that are based on sustainable development, and promotes well-being by advancing the development of healthy foods.

Head of the Food Chemistry and Food Development unit, Professor Baoru Yang and Kati Hanhineva, who is the new Professor in Food Development with special focus on Nordic foods and their health effects from the beginning of 2020 onwards, are pleased with the input to the research on Nordic ingredients and foods.

An international call was opened for the professorship in Food Development. PhD Kati Hanhineva was appointed for the position due to her strong experience and relevant research.

The aim of the new professorship is to support the production and export of sustainable food that promotes health with high-quality research and to increase the collaboration between universities and the Finnish food industry. The professorship is set in the Food Chemistry and Food Development unit of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Turku.

In her earlier research, Kati Hanhineva has explored the composition of Nordic foods and the metabolic health effect mechanisms of foods. A key method used in the research has been the metabolomics analysis, and she is an internationally recognised pioneer in food and nutritional metabolomics.

– New technological applications enable exploring more profoundly the chemical conversions that happen in foods both during the cooking and digestion processes. This helps us to understand those metabolic changes that promote the health effects associated with certain foods or certain diet in more detail, says Hanhineva.

The studies led by Kati Hanhineva have focused thoroughly also on the significance of intestinal microbial flora on the interface of foods, nutrition, and health.

– My professorship that begins at the beginning of next year enables continuing this research approach effectively, says Hanhineva.

The Rector of the University of Turku Jukka Kola says that research on foods that promote health and adhere to sustainable development fits into the University’s strategy excellently.

– The professorship donated by the Raisio Research Foundation is a significant investment in developing the field. It’s also vital that we’ve recruited an internationally well-known expert to the position in question, says Kola.

Also the chair of the board of the Raisio Research Foundation Pekka Kuusniemi is delighted about Kati Hanhineva’s expertise for the professorship.

– We’re pleased that with the help of our donation, it’s possible to invest in the research on Nordic ingredients and foods even more strongly. Responsibility and healthiness interest consumers in Finland and abroad, so there are a lot of opportunities available for Nordic foods, says Kuusniemi.

– The research conducted at the Food Chemistry and Food Development unit focuses on the composition and health effects of Nordic plant-based food. The new professor position is a strong input to the research in this field and strengthens the collaboration with companies, says Head of the Food Chemistry and Food Development unit, Professor Baoru Yang.

More information:

Kati Hanhineva, t. +358 40 355 2364,

Baoru Yang, t. +358 45 273 7988,

Created 12.12.2019 | Updated 12.12.2019