Food and Health

The global food and food technology market is in rapid growth, and food investment is central both in the Danish- and Chinese government’s growth plans. From a Danish perspective, the focus is on the Danish food industry's ability to maintain and strengthen its position and exploit the unique opportunities for export-driven growth, especially in the export of high quality food with health and sustainability as key elements. Chinese focuses are complementarily and synergistically focused on food safety, including health, and food supply, as well as unmet innovative solutions both in the organization and management of food supply chains and policies that regulate the food sector. Both sides can learn much from each other to ensure a smooth integration of goals and needs.

The SDC Food and Health research area has been developed to meet Danish and Chinese food markets challenges via a stakeholder chain driven research based collaboration to strengthen Denmark and China’s position in the food market.


The research theme focuses on application-oriented food science for sustainable, healthy and high quality food supply and security. Danish and Chinese university partners have complementary competences that reach from primary production to consumer behaviour including food quality, economics, marketing and health as core aspects in food solutions - in short, in the Food and Health theme we look at the implications of these areas across the entire food chain from “farm to fork”. Specific areas of research and cooperation under the theme include:

Food quality, processing and production

Focuses on understanding food processing, quality and perception via a synergy of multisensory human food analysis, combined with novel and sustainable production and processing techniques, in the design and development of high quality, better-tasting, more stimulating, more memorable, and healthier food and drink experiences.

Microbial food safety and hygiene

Deals with microbial food safety and focuses on means to detect food borne pathogenes, sources of outbreaks of food borne diseases and novel strategies to ensure food safety.

Food business, marketing and the consumer

Focus on research on the development, marketing and distribution of foods, and generate insight into consumer behaviour for the benefit of food industries and public policy.

Food sociology, economics and supply chain management

Deals with research in logistics and supply chain management in the concept of economic thinking in food production, trade and management of food quality and safety throughout the supply chain. In addition, to the sociological elements of food safety and quality including research within social and cultural aspects of eating, production and new technologies as well as the role of the legal framework and regulation.

Nutrition and health

Focus on effects on health of specific food, food components and supplements in health and disease prevention, rational for nutritional recommendations and food and nutrition security.

Principal Coordinators

Derek V. Byrne


Department of Food Science - Food Quality Perception & Society

Aarhus University


Mobile: +45 28 78 28 40

Hu Ligang


Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences

Chinese Academy of Sciences


To discuss proposals for research activities, which can strengthen SDC's activities within the research area, please contact the Principal Coordinators.

PhD students

PhD students are central to the Food and Health research collaboration between China and Denmark. The students have their base in Denmark but do research in Denmark and China and contribute to teaching at the related Masters course in Food and Health in Beijing. As such, the SinoDanish PhDs provide a unique opportunity for bringing together and built up the research relations between Denmark and China, and establish professional collaboration in the Food and Health space.

PhD Students

View Isabella Tao Jakobsen's profile at

Isabella Tao Jakobsen

Department of Food Science, Aarhus University

Topic: ConsumeEngage: Consumer acceptance and engagement with sustainable protein-rich foods

Starting date: 1 December 2023

View Nora Chaaban's profile at

Nora Chaaban

Department of Food Science, Aarhus University

Topic: ChangeEat: Dietary Behavior Changes – Barriers, motivations and strategies to succeed

Starting date: 1 September 2023

View Chanette Bach Hessellund Frederiksen's profile at

Chanette Bach Hessellund Frederiksen

Department of Food Science, Aarhus University

Topic: SenseEat - Interoceptive and exteroceptive strategies for dietary behaviour change

Starting date: 15 October 2022

View Beatriz Philippi Rosane's profile at

Beatriz Philippi Rosane

Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports (NEXS), University of Copenhagen

Topic: Drivers and barriers for plant-based substitutes for animal-based foods

Starting date: 1 October 2022

View Claudia Squarzon's profile at

Claudia Squarzon

Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen

Topic: Practicing Food Sustainability Together:

Shared Food Experiences and the Social Production of Green Taste

Starting date: 1 January 2022

View Line Pedersen's profile at

Line Pedersen

Department of Food Science, Aarhus University

Topic: Our perception of sweetness and fattiness: the effect of sensory interactions between sweeteners and fat, individual differences and culture

Starting date: 1 January 2022

View Vera Irene Erickson's profile at

Vera Irene Erickson

Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen

Topic: Use of Probiotics in Culture of Striped Catfish for a Sustainable Food Production (CAT-PRO)

Starting date: 31 December 2020

Post-ingestive sensations in healthy eating behaviour and cross cultural variation (iSense PhD)

The PhD focuses on post-ingestive sensations in healthy eating behaviour. The overall aim of the PhD project is to study how post-ingestive sensations can be utilized to influence eating behaviour, and explores how these sensations vary between foods and consumer groups, and are related to future food intake. Expected outcomes are: a vocabulary and means to measure post-ingestive sensations, insight in factors affecting post-ingestive sensations in different populations, and insight in the importance of post-ingestive sensations in eating behaviour.

The project is associated with the OmniSaM project at Aarhus University.

Student name: Mette Duerslund Hansen

Supervisor: Derek V. Byrne, Department Food Science, Aarhus University

Leveraging mobile technology to increase consumer engagement and foster consumer‐brand relationships in the food sector (MOBENGAGE PhD)

The PhD focuses on mobile technology to increase consumer engagement and foster consumer-brand relationships in the food sector. The overall aim of the PhD project is to investigate the role of mobile technology – apps in particular - in consumer engagement from a food company perspective, with a special focus on experiences with the Chinese WeChat app. Expected outcomes are: new theoretical insights into dynamics of consumer engagement and acceptance of mobile apps and specifically into how consumer engagement affects consumer-brand relationships in the food sector, and new insights into opportunities and challenges of leveraging mobile technologies to increase consumer engagement and further brand relationships.

Student name: Viktorija Kulikovskaja

Supervisor: Klaus Grunert, Head of MAPP Center Aarhus University

Sensory factors affecting sweetness perception of beverages: the influence of intra product factors and cultural differences (InnoSweet PhD)

The PhD focuses on sensory factors affecting sweetness perception. The overall aim is to study inter and intra cultural differences in sweetness perception and includes studies of differences between western and eastern cultures, taste-taste interactions and cross-modal interactions in sweetness perception. Expected outcomes are: an identification of the most potential sensory factors to maintain sweetness in beverages in various consumer markets.

The project is linked to the Innosweet project at Aarhus University.

Student name: Anne Sjørup Bertelsen

Supervisor: Ulla Kidmose, Department Food Science, Aarhus University

Nutritional quality of insects as a novel protein source in food (InVALUABLE PhD)

The PhD focuses on characterization of the nutritional value of edible insects, with specific focus on protein quality in the perspective of human nutrition. The overall aim of the PhD project is to review and study protein quality, digestibility and health impact (growth performance, gut microbial activity, intestinal humoral immunity) of selected edible insects fed to piglets. Expected outcomes are: an identification of protein quality and digestibility of edible insects in feed and food along with an insight on health impact (growth performance, gut microbial activity, intestinal humoral immunity) of edible insects fed to piglets.

Student: Navodita Malla

Principal supervisor: Nanna Roos, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen

Co-supervisor: Jan Værum Nørgaard, Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University

MSc International Food Quality and Health