10 May 2019

Thom Huppertz named professor by special appointment of Dairy Science & Technology

As of May 1, 2019, Dr. Thom Huppertz is the chair of Dairy Science & Technology at Wageningen University & Research. The chairmanship is a joint initiative of Wageningen University & Research and the Dutch Dairy Association (NZO). Thom Huppertz succeeds Professor Tiny van Boekel, who has been interim chair since September 2017. The position is part of the Food Quality & Design department led by Profession Vincenzo Fogliano.

With the Dairy Science & Technology professor by special appointment position (0.5 FTE), Wageningen University & Research aims to link dairy technology to the entire dairy chain and sustainability question. Milk and dairy products play a crucial role in the human diet, everywhere around the world. With the world’s growing population, dairy demand is also growing, particularly in Asia and Africa. The key challenge of the coming decades is to provide billions of people around the world with healthy dairy products in a sustainable way.

Thom Huppertz (Venray, 1975) works part-time as principal scientist in Food Structuring at FrieslandCampina. He is also an adjunct professor of Dairy Science at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia, and is editor-in-chief at International Dairy Journal. He worked at NIZO as principal scientist in dairy technology for ten years. Between 2013 and 2017, Huppertz was adjunct professor of Dairy Science and Technology at South Dakota State University in the United States.

Connecting sustainability and health

The Dairy Science & Technology chair is focused on connecting issues around sustainable dairy production with knowledge of how dairy products contribute to nutrition and to health. The main questions being asked in the multidisciplinary research that Huppertz now leads are:

  • How can dairy’s nutritional value and contribution to nutrition and health be integrated in how the environmental impact of dietary choices is assessed?
  • How do changes in the composition of milk influence milk’s physical-chemical properties and thus its processing into dairy products and its nutritional value?
  • How can dairy processing be optimized to produce dairy products with maximum nutritional value through optimal digestive properties and nutrient release?

Thom Huppertz will also focus on deepening and further broadening education in the field of dairy. There are three main elements of the specialization in Dairy Science & Technology at Wageningen University: Dairy Chemistry and Physics, Dairy Science & Technology, and Milk in the Dairy Chain.

Dairy Campus

Thom Huppertz will represent Wageningen University in the Dairy Campus partnership in Leeuwarden. He will also coordinate One Wageningen Dairy.

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