Successful 4th edition of Giract’s European Flavour Research Award Programme honours a Munich Scholar

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Giract, the Geneva based transnational consultancy specialised in food ingredients, launched the PhD Flavour Research Award Programme in 2010, in order to encourage flavour research amongst PhD students throughout Europe. This year, Johannes Kiefl from the University of Munich won the best thesis award.

This research award programme was supported by DSM, Givaudan, IFF, Kerry Ingredients & Flavours, Kikkoman, Lesaffre, Mars & Nestlé in 2013/2014. The programme, run with expert guidance from Professor Andy Taylor, University of Nottingham, recognizes and rewards six first year PhD students who present the best research proposal and one final year student who submits the best thesis. More details can be found at

To win this prestigious award, a thesis must demonstrate an innovative and multi-disciplinary approach, combining flavour analysis with aspects of biology, chemistry, and psychology. Award winners are invited to present their thesis in front of senior representatives from sponsoring companies at a special meeting preceding Giract’s annual Savory Flavor Conference.

Five applications were received for the 2013/14, Best Thesis Programme and the prize has been awarded to Johannes Kiefl from the Technical University of Munich for his thesis titled - Differentiation of Hazelnut Cultivars (Corylus avellana L.) by Metabolomics and Sensomics Approaches Using Comprehensive Two-dimensional Gas Chromatography Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (GC×GC/TOF-MS). Professor Andy Taylor commends Johannes’ work thus “The student has developed a data processing protocol to overcome many of the potential difficulties and shows a deep understanding of this topic. Results show that markers for cultivars and the roasting process could be identified. This in depth study should assist hazelnut processor to develop more sophisticated processes to improve quality.”

Previous winners of the Best Thesis Award have gone on to successful careers in the food industry. Marion Doyennette who received the award in 2011/12 for her work carried out at INRA-AgroParisTech Joint Research Unit for Food Process Engineering and Microbiology, in Versailles-Grignon, is now a researcher at Unilever in the Netherlands. Georgia Lytra, who worked in the Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry at the Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin (University Bordeaux Segalen) was awarded the Best Thesis prize in 2012/13. Her PhD thesis entitled “Importance of perspective interactions of wine typical fruity aromas” established the importance of esters in the enhancement of fruity aromas associated with wine. She is now furthering her studies with a post doctorate related to the same topic, where she is investigating the origin of these important esters. Georgia also found the contacts she made during the 19th Giract Savory Flavor Conference very useful for the development of her career.

Dr. Russell Ward, research director at Giract, notes that this programme not only encourages students to take up flavour for their doctoral studies, but also provides opportunities for the industry to understand the current status of flavour research in European universities. The 5th edition of the awards programme has also received continuing support from the sponsoring consortium. Mr. V. Krishnakumar, Managing Director of Giract, is optimistic about expanding this immensely important programme to other regions of the world, with the first target being India.

Giract, the Geneva based transnational consultancy, specializes in food and beverage ingredient markets globally. Its team of experts are based out of Europe, India and across the world. Giract produces market research studies, confidential assignments, Conferences, newsletters, open innovation platforms and workshops.

Contact: V.Krishnakumar – krishna(at)giract(dot)com Tel: +41 22 779 0500

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Russell Ward
Giract SARL
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Krishnakumar V
since: 06/2012
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