Celebrating entrepreneurship – awarding excellence and talent within food science with The Nils Foss Prize

November 17, 2021, marked the day of the fifth annual Nils Foss Prize, which was established in the name of Nils Foss in recognition of his life-long entrepreneurship and his remarkable achievements with analytical instruments and solutions. This year, the prize ceremony was held at the University of Copenhagen in extension of the Food Analytics conference, in which several renowned speakers covered various areas of food analysis and element detection. The Nils Foss Prize recognizes researchers and scientists who are game changers within the fields of food quality, food safety and sustainability, and since FOSS was founded in 1956, our innovation has been based on invaluable collaboration with customers, researchers, and scientists from universities all around the world, which makes for the perfect foundation for the prize.

An homage to the scientific community

The Nils Foss Prize has the primary purpose of honouring the scientific community within agriculture, feed, food and analytical technologies. It recognizes the important research in this community, research which is key in ensuring food quality and secure food safety, provided in a sustainable way to an ever-growing global population. Today more than ever, there is a global need for innovations improving food safety and sustainability, and therefore also for food science. This year, the two prize winners were:

The Nils Foss Excellence Prize 2021: Roy Goodacre from University of Liverpool.

The Nils Foss Talent Prize 2021: Mario Martinez-Martinez from Aarhus University.

FOSS is the proud sponsor of the two prizes, and the prize committee consists of a line of highly respected scientists, heads of innovation from global food companies and a representative from FOSS. Together, they evaluate all the nominees and selects the winners.

Read more about the Committee here.

A big congratulations to the winners – and if you want to get a sense of their fields of expertise, here’s an introduction to both laureates:

Roy Goodacre with Nils Foss Excellence Prize 2021

Professor Roy Goodacre – Nils Foss Excellence Prize 2021

Professor Roy Goodacre is an analytical chemist who is best known for being a powerhouse in the field of metabolomics where he is a founding father and has played a key role in establishing the international Metabolomics Society and the journal Metabolomics, where he is Editor-in-Chief.


Professor Goodacre is a community builder and has been a major player in establishing international analytical standards and he has done extensive work in establishing a range of novel analytical approaches – in both areas of data generation approaches as well as in data analysis strategies. His areas of research and expertise include industrial entrepreneurship and he founded the spinout company Spinometrics of which he is now Director.

Early on, in 1992 Goodacre, was interested in the novel application of Mass Spectrometry to detect the adulteration of olive oil with lower-grade oils which led to a paper published in Nature.


Much of Professor Goodacre’s work is centred on technological innovation, particularly in using Raman spectroscopy for applications to food security. Goodacre has developed a series of innovative Raman solutions to protect the integrity of our food supply chains. He has developed quantitative Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering – SERS – and he has recently been part of a highly successful interlaboratory trial for quantitative SERS. He has pioneered SERS for the identification of bacteria and used this method to detect carcinogens in food and unwanted boar-taint compounds in pork.


A highly innovative Raman method Goodacre has developed is Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS), which allows through-bottle analysis for the detection of counterfeit alcohols.


Currently Professor Goodacre is developing approaches with sufficient resolution for imaging single bacteria.


In the fields of large-scale metabolomics and chemometrics Professor Goodacre is a widely published pioneer in the areas of untargeted metabolite profiling, chemical analysis protocols for metabolite identification, and he has developed novel chemometrics and machine learning tools and approaches all of which have been made publicly available.


Professor Goodacre is a prominent ambassador of applied analytical food science and is an excellent recipient of the Nils Foss Excellence Award.

Mario Martinez-Martinez with Nils Foss Talent Prize 2021

Dr. Mario Martinez-Martinez – Nils Foss Talent Prize 2021

Dr. Mario Martinez-Martinez is a researcher, an engineer, and a technologist. Since graduating with his PhD in 2016, he has worked as a postdoc at Purdue University in USA in a project collaboration with Mondelez International. In August 2017 Dr. Martinez-Martinez became Tenure Track Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph in Canada, and in April 2020 he joined Department of Food Science at Aarhus University.


Unlike traditional food studies, Dr. Martinez-Martinez’ research has focused on a very innovative way of understanding the nanostructure and performance of edible plant tissues and polymers.


Dr. Martinez-Martinez has a uniquely multidisciplinary background in engineering and food, which encourages him to bring together analytical methods in the fields of foodomics and biophysics, to understand how nanostructures and their assemblage can affect the performance of foods as nutrients, and bio-based biodegradable materials.


Dr. Martinez-Martinez uses multidimensional chromatography and mass spectrometry for the elucidation of the structure and hydrodynamics of the “building blocks of life”, which is necessary to engineer novel functionalities. Furthermore, Dr. Martinez-Martinez has been a pioneer in bringing analytical methods into food research.


During his 3 years as Assistant Professor, Dr. Martinez-Martinez has obtained 15 million DKK from both private and public funding bodies, and Dr. Martinez-Martinez has published an impressively large number of peer-reviewed scientific articles.


Dr. Martinez-Martinez is a promising talent and a worthy recipient of the Nils Foss Talent Prize 2021.


Read more about The Nils Foss Prize here and follow The Nils Foss Prize on LinkedIn.

University of Copenhagen - Peter Foss speaking


About FOSS

FOSS contributes to the sustainable use of our planet’s agricultural resources and thus to the nutrition and health of the people of the world. Through analytics, FOSS adds value to customers - which counts the world's 100 largest food companies - by improving food quality and optimising production, from raw material to finished product. By turning measurement into information, businesses can run intelligent, data-driven productions with less waste and bigger yields. FOSS helps food and agricultural producers scale their business faster and smarter. Nils Foss founded the family-owned company in Hillerød in 1956. Today, FOSS employs more than 1,500 highly qualified people in more than 30 countries with consolidated sales of DKK 2.15 bn in 2020.



Benjamin Rugholm
Head of External Communications & PR, FOSS
+45 28 40 95 00


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