Areas of expertise
I am professor in food development with special focus on Nordic foods and health effects at the University of Turku, Department of Biochemistry, Food Chemistry and Food Development unit since beginning of 2020. Part of my research group is situated at the School of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Eastern Finland. Since fall 2019 I am also affiliated as visiting scientist (Marie Curie MoRE2020 Fellow) at the Division of Food and Nutrition Science, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at the Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden. I have the docentship in nutrition and food metabolomics at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Finland.
I completed PhD in biotechnology at the University of Kuopio 2008. During years 2008-2014 I conducted post-doctoral research at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, at the University of Eastern Finland with several research visits to the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Since 2014 I have been the principal investigator in food and nutritional metabolomics research group and led and participated in several national and EU-funded research projects including Academy Researcher fellowship 2014-2019.
My main research focus is within the biochemistry of foods, especially phytochemical compounds and the effect of food processing such as fermentation on their composition. Likewise, molecular level understanding of the role of nutrition in maintaining good health, and food-microbiota interaction are within the core of my research. The key analytical technology at the different stages of research is the mass-spectrometry based metabolic profiling that I have developed and utilized for various food and nutrition related applications, in particular within projects related to the beneficial health effect of whole grain rich diets.