Areas of expertise
I was a professor in Food Chemistry at the University of Turku and Head of the Unit from 1991 until retirement in 2015. After that I have worked as Professor Emeritus in the Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Food Development. After my military service (1965-66), I studied Biochemistry (MSc) and Food Chemistry (PhD) in Turku. Thereafter, in 1975 I was employed in Food Industry for over six years (Research Director in Saarioinen Ltd and Turun Muna/Cultor Ltd) until I returned back to the University of Turku to work as an Associate Professor in Food Chemistry until 1990. In 1985-86 I was employed as a Visiting Professor in the Food Science Department at the University of California Davis and later in the Australian Wine Research Institute, University of Adelaide, Australia in 1990-91. During the time of my professorship I have also been fixed periods active as a member of the University Council, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Food Chemistry.
My research is traditionally focused on chemistry and biochemistry of phenolic compounds, lipids and other bio-active secondary metabolites of Nordic wild and cultivated food crops. Aroma and flavor compounds, natural colors and seed oils have been the main targets in the berry research. Supercritical fluid extraction (CO2) is applied to isolation and purification of lipophilic compounds of berries such as sea buckthorn (Hippophaë rhamnoides) and black currant (Ribes nigrum). In addition, chemistry of human milk, fish oil, birch sap and other specialties are on the palette, as well in basic as in applied research. The key-factors of the Nordic crops enhancing both domestic markets and export are of my special interest. Development and application of GC-MS and HPLC-MS are the key methods of my expertise. All my research is based on close co-operation with domestic and international scientists, including the 31 doctors I’ve supervised since 1980’s