Professor Rasmus Bro from Copenhagen University takes the Nils Foss excellence prize for achievement within food science innovation and research and Dr. Bekzod Khakimov, also from Copenhagen University, wins the Nils Foss Talent prize as a young and promising scientist. Both received their prize at a ceremony held at the FOSS Innovation Centre in Hilleroed, Denmark, today.
Making sense of a fragmented world
Professor Rasmus Bro’s work includes the introduction of new mathematical methods to help make better use of the vast amounts of valuable data generated by modern analytical instrument platforms in use in the medical, pharmaceutical and food & feed industries. He has also pioneered a new mathematical approach to chemical analysis to aid environmental monitoring and has developed a revolutionary concept, Biocontour, for predicting the risk of developing breast cancer based on a blood sample test.
A key theme throughout Professor Bro’s work is the concept of covariance drawing on the combined strength of normally isolated data sources to give a clearer picture of what is going on in complex processes such those as involved in food and pharmaceutical production. With support from organizations such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Arla foods and Novo Nordisk, he has put together the world’s first university education on the theme of using advanced data for better production of food and pharmaceuticals.
The promise of metabolomics
31 year old Bekzod Khakimov has a PhD in metabolomics from 2013 and has continued as a post doc to build up his ‘Foodomics’ lab at Copenhagen University, a database of food compounds called the Copenhagen Open Metabolite DatabaSe (COMDAS) for facilitating easy assignments of food metabolites.
Metabolomics is an exciting new area of food science with positive implications for future food production.
Until recently, food analyses were limited to estimating nutritional values within the content of six broad categories: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, water, vitamins, and minerals. Metabolomics is transforming all that by revealing the thousands of bioactive food components that could affect human well-being and health. In turn, this can help food producers to optimise the composition of processed food and also help them to screen raw material for unwanted components due to deliberate or accidental adulteration.