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Queens Anniversary Prizes 2015

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Dr Aurélie Bechoff

Food Technologist
MSc x 2, PhD
Food and Markets Department
Natural Resources Institute

Biography

Dr Aurélie Bechoff has been employed at the University of Greenwich since October 2009 and is currently working as a food technologist at the Natural Resources Institute. She has been involved in writing a number of international peer-reviewed papers, winning projects and has undertaken cutting-edge research.

Her PhD (2005–10) brought an original contribution to research to understand the extent of provitamin A destruction during drying and also during storage of dried sweet potato. The results of the PhD have made an important and measurable contribution to the HarvestPlus Challenge Programme Project (a four-year Gates-funded project in which NRI was a partner organisation). Her PhD was supervised by Professor Andrew Westby and Professor Keith Tomlins from NRI. The PhD research has resulted in six peer-reviewed publications in international journals.

An award from the Natural Resources International Foundation helped Dr Bechoff to carry out additional research in Uganda in order to round up the results of her PhD. Dr Bechoff also won the ECR University Excellence award in 2013.

In addition, she has helped improve practical facilities and capacity building in NRI, spending time planning and re-organising laboratories from the Food & Market Department with Dr Corinne Rumney in order to improve the capacity of these laboratories to produce better quality research.

Dr Bechoff has long-term experience in Burkina Faso, Ecuador and Uganda and short-term experience elsewhere in Africa (i.e. Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, DRC Congo, Senegal). French is her mother tongue and she speaks fluent Spanish.

Research/Scholarly Interests

Experience in root and tuber crop processing, post-harvest technology and food quality.

Current and Previous Funded Research Projects

Dr Bechoff has been research-active since she started working for NRI in 2009.

She has been involved in a number of large projects, including:

  • The Gates-funded C:AVA project on evaluating the quality of cassava flour
  • The EU-funded AFTER project on the acceptability and sensory analysis of African Foods for the European market
  • The EU-ACP project for the training of young scientists in ACP countries.

She has also contributed to winning the recently EU-funded GRATITUDE project.

Dr Bechoff is currently leading a project (2012–13) funded by HarvestPlus on the retention of provitamin A during processing of yellow-fleshed cassava into gari, fufu and cassava leaves (value $300,000).

Responsibilities within the University

  • Food technologist. Four years of post-doctoral experience in root and tuber crop processing, post-harvest technology and food quality.

Selected Publications

Recent Conference Presentations

  • Bechoff, A. Harvey, P., Tomlins, K., and Westby, A. (2012) Are enzymes involved in degrading β-carotene during storage of dried sweet potato (Ipomea batata). 16th Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops – (ISTRC), "The Roots and Tubers of development and climate change", FUNAAB, Nigeria, 23-28 September. (oral)
  • Bechoff, A., Tomlins, K., Dhuique-Mayer, C., Owori, C., Menya, G., Dufour, D., Dove, R., Marouze, C., Dornier, M., Boulanger, R. & Westby, A. (2010) Effect of processing on carotenoid losses in orange-fleshed sweet potato: from the field to the fork. 11th Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops – Africa Branch (ISTRC-AB), "Root Crops in Africa and the Challenges of Globalization and Climate Change", Hotel Memling, Kinshasa, DRC, 4-8 October (oral).
  • Bechoff, A., Tomlins, K., Dhuique-Mayer, C. and Westby, A. Understanding carotenoid losses after drying and storage of orange-fleshed sweetpotato (Ipomea batata). 15th Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops – (ISTRC), "Tropical Roots and Tubers in a Changing Climate: A convenient opportunity for the World", CIP, Lima, Peru, 2-6 November. (oral)
  • Bechoff, A., Westby, A., Dufour, D., Dhuique-Mayer, C., Marouze, C., Owori, C., Menya, G., Tomlins, K.I. (2007). Effect of drying and storage on the content of pro-vitamin A in Orange Flesh Sweetpotato: sun radiations do not have significant impact. 10th Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops – Africa Branch (ISTRC-AB), "Root and Tuber Crops for Poverty Alleviation through Science and Technology for Sustainable Development", IIAM, Maputo, Mozambique, 8-12 October. (poster)

External Recognition

  • Member of the International Society for Tuber and Roots crops (ISTRC)

Awards

  • 2013. University of Greenwich Early Career Research Excellence Award (£5,000 grant)
  • 2009. PhD student Award. Natural Resources International Fellowship. Postgraduate Research & Travel Fellowship. (£1,680 for field research).

Contact Information

Dr Aurélie Bechoff

Natural Resources Institute

University of Greenwich

Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, United Kingdom.

Tel: +44 (0)1634 88 3071

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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