Meet Dzmitry Paturemski, a current Master's degree student at the University of Turku and an UTUambassador 2023-2024!
"Hi there, it’s Dzmitry! I’m a second-year Master's degree student studying in the Master’s Degree Programme in Food Development. I’m originally from Minsk, Belarus, and I’ve done quite a few things by now – microbiology, translation, copywriting, marketing, customer support – you name it. I’m really keen on creating stories with text and visuals, working in the intersection of different languages, advocating for human rights, hiking, playing board games and cooking.
I’m busy in different projects, I thus have multiple Instagram accounts: @ptrmsquiche (a dump for my gastronomic experiments and a means for me to keep track of where I got inspired for what), @blrsn_talks (informal lectures about my homeland and support of my compatriots), @merzkatzer (pinpointing cats I meet all over the world), @ptrmsq (just me cycling, living, goofing around and enjoying my life).
Surprise-surprise – not so long ago I realised that I want food to be more than just my hobby, and that’s why I’m studying food development now. As a person who is very industry oriented, I got a bit frustrated first that quite enough university courses focus on research and fundamental science. However, then I remembered that I was studying at a research university and simultaneously started to appreciate the structure of the programme. The Food Development programme at the University of Turku covers both fundamental studies for the research career and includes courses developing skills needed in the food industry, and I see it as a great strength now.
I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology, and this fact has overlapped with my passion for food in a beautiful and convenient way – fermentation is an area of my particular interest. I’m very lucky because I’ve found a thesis supervisor with whom I will be working on developing a recipe for a water-based kefir made with birch sap, examining the properties of the products, and conducting their sensory evaluation as my Master’s thesis. I believe that microbiology is the future of the food industry and one of the possible answers to how we can put our current food production and practices on a more sustainable track. The unit at the University of Turku is on that mission now too because a big part of the research in food science here is dedicated to novel sources of macronutrients and products with lower carbon footprint.
The whole environment here is built in such a way that you can’t help but be proactive. I love how approachable the staff is and how much independence we are given in our studies – starting from planning our whole curriculum and ending with planning our Master’s thesis work. Students being colleagues of the academic staff are not just words, and it inspires me a lot.
I‘ve come a long way now to understand where I want to be in the future. My ideal solution is an equation with three variables: I want to work as a product or recipe developer, I would like to learn more about food fermentation and start teaching a related course at the university or university of applied sciences once I gain enough expertise, and I would want to open a bakery and design it to be as close to circular economy as possible. My Master’s thesis is about fermentation and product development, and I’m starting to work at a vegan restaurant soon, so I’m very excited with where I stand now!
I don’t think I’ll want to leave Turku anytime soon – I’ve gone through a “love-hate-love” relationship with the city, and I can surely say that I am happy that I’m here. Maybe the reason is that it’s been half a year of bright spring and summer days, and the winter is yet to come. However, when I took my time to discover the city, find favourite places and pay attention to the events going on here, I grew fond of Turku. I believe that it has place for a lot of different people, and one of the places I would recommend to everyone is Kirjakahvila – it is an incredible café right in the centre of the city that gathers people of very different backgrounds that share open-mindedness as a common value. And they serve amazing seitan sandwiches (and I might occasionally cook as a substitute there)!
If you want to learn more about my affairs, check any of the Instagram accounts I’ve added above, and you’re welcome to chat with me on Unibuddy if you have any questions. Hopefully see you in Turku!"
LinkedIn: Dzmitry Paturemski
Dzmitry's study experience:
My love for all things about food started when I was entering high school, and in a way, it was the reason that I chose the Faculty of Biology for my Bachelor's degree. After seven years of doing whatsoever, I realized that I actually wanted to take one step further in my relationship with food. I figured a Master's degree would be a decent step, so here I am!
When I told my friends and family about my plans, the most frequent question was, "Are you going to cook?" If you have the same question, then it's no, most of my courses do not involve cooking :) The most interesting course so far has been Food Development, where a group of people has to develop a new food product based on given ingredients. The best part about it is that it’s diverse and involves many different tasks and – what a coincidence! – cooking. This course has been challenging sometimes, and our relationship cannot be easily described, but it’s a really exciting one.
Right now, I don’t see myself in academia in the future. That said, the more I study here, the more I’m thinking about it. Ultimately, I’d like to marry pastry and desserts with fermentation and see how well this marriage will work. In this picture, I could be quite many things – an R&D specialist, an academia researcher, an entrepreneur, a recipe developer, or maybe even a cook. I’ll see what opportunities I'll get.
The University of Turku has several layers coming one on top of another. Firstly, fundamental science combined with the courses that develop project thinking needed in the industry. Secondly, technically a carte blanche with the elective courses allowing us to take virtually anything of our interests. And thirdly, collaborative environment and skillful, encouraging teaching and research staff.
Master's degree in Food Development is for the people thinking about the challenges of the food industry in the future. Whether you want to become a researcher pushing forward the scholar thought or a product developer focusing on novel food, this programme will help you be a game changer in the food sector.