Dr Aurélie Bechoff
+44 (0)1634 88 3071
Dr Aurélie Bechoff has been working as a food technologist at the Natural Resources Institute since October 2009. In her earlier years at NRI as a PhD student (2005–10), Aurélie brought an original contribution to research on the extent of pro-vitamin A carotenoid degradation in sweet potato during its drying and subsequent storage, as part of the HarvestPlus-funded project Reaching End-Users with biofortified sweet potato in Uganda and Mozambique. This led her to coordinate a project that investigated the provitamin A retention of biofortified yellow cassava in Nigeria during traditional processing funded by HarvestPlus (2012-15). This was followed by an IMMANA-FCDO funded project called NUTRI-P-LOSS on the development of a methodology for estimating nutritional postharvest losses, from harvest to market, for key crops for food security in Zimbabwe and Uganda (2016-19). To expand her skills in nutrition, Aurélie completed part-time an MSc in Nutrition for Global Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (2017-19). As a result, she became more involved in nutrition projects such as the MRC-Peru study on the links between agroforestry, nutrition, and health in indigenous populations, and the EU-funded 2FAS on food fortification strategies in LMICs. In 2019-20, Aurélie coordinated a project on the feasibility of developing local ready-to-use therapeutic food formulations for Sierra Leone. Over the years Aurélie has also grown expertise in sensory and consumer research for low-middle-income countries (LMICs) and is currently involved in the BMGF-funded CGIAR-RTBFood project (2017-2022) that seeks to understand how to breed for root and tuber crops that are more acceptable to end-users in sub-Saharan Africa. She is also involved in the ERANET-funded WAFOOD that seeks to strengthen food systems for fruits & vegetables in West Africa (2021-24) in the face of climate change and food insecurity. Her main growing interest is on the development of novel infant food formulations to efficiently tackle undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in LMICs.
Dr Bechoff has worked in more than 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and in South America. French is her mother tongue and she speaks fluent Spanish.
Nutritional postharvest losses from farm to fork i.e. carotenoid loss during processing of root and tuber crops; Consumer and sensory research on traditional diet and novel foods, formulation of nutritious foods from local commodities in LMICs.
Dr Bechoff is involved as various research projects including the EU-ERANET funded WAFOOD ‘Strengthening African FOOD Systems in the face of climate change and food insecurity’, the EU-funded 2FAS to improve food fortification strategies, the BMGF-funded RTBFood project on sensory and consumer research to understand the drivers of trait preferences of Root Tuber and Banana, the UKRI-MRC-funded-project on the links between agroforestry practices and nutrition in Peru amongst indigenous populations, and others.
Dr Bechoff has been research-active since she started working for NRI in 2009 and has published over 25 peer-reviewed papers. She led a HarvestPlus-funded project (~$300,000) (2012–15) that investigated the retention of provitamin A in biofortified cassava made into gari, fufu, and in boiled cassava leaves; an FCDO (formerly DFID) Innovative Methods and Metrics for Agriculture and Nutrition Action (IMMANA)-funded project called NUTRI-P-LOSS (~£250,000) (2016-19); and a project on the development of ready-to-use therapeutic food for Sierra Leone (~$80,000) (2019-20). She has been involved in a number of small, medium, and large projects, including among others: the EU-ACP project for the training of young scientists in ACP countries (2009-2011); the BMGF-funded C:AVA project on evaluating the quality of cassava flour; the EU-funded AFTER (2011-14), GRATITUDE (2012-15) and Cassava-G-Market (2013-17) projects ; CGIAR-funded RTB projects (2014-17); Bambara-Market project (2019), the WFP-funded project on schoolchildren acceptability of fortified cassava fufu in Congo (2021).
- Bechoff, Aurélie, Chijioke, Ugo, Westby, Andrew and Tomlins, Keith Ian (2018) ‘Yellow is good for you’: Consumer perception and acceptability of fortified and biofortified cassava products. PLoS ONE, 13 (9):e0203421. pp. 1-22. ISSN 1932-6203 (Online) (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0203421)
- Bechoff, Aurélie, Tomlins, Keith Ian, Chijioke, Ugo, Ilona, Paul, Westby, Andrew and Boy, Erick (2018) Physical losses could partially explain modest carotenoid retention in dried food products from biofortified cassava. PLoS ONE:e0194402. ISSN 1932-6203 (Online) (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0194402)
- Bechoff, Aurélie, Tomlins, Keith, Fliedel, Geneviève, Lopez-Lavalle, Luis Augusto Becerra, Westby, Andrew, Hershey, Clair and Dufour, Dominique (2016) Cassava traits and end-user preference: relating traits to consumer liking, sensory perception, and genetics. Critical reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 58 (4). pp. 547-567. ISSN 1040-8398 (Print), 1549-7852 (Online) (doi:10.1080/10408398.2016.1202888)
- Bechoff, Aurélie and Dhuique-Mayer, Claudie (2016) Factors influencing micronutrient bioavailability in biofortified crops. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1390. pp. 74-87. ISSN 0077-8923 (Print), 1749-6632 (Online) (doi:10.1111/nyas.13301)
- Bechoff, Aurelie, Chijioke, Ugo, Tomlins, Keith I., Govinden, Pesila, Ilona, Paul, Westby, Andrew and Boy, Erick (2015) Carotenoid stability during storage of yellow gari made from biofortified cassava or with palm oil. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 44. pp. 36-44. ISSN 0889-1575 (doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2015.06.002)
- Bechoff, Aurélie, Cissé, Mady, Fliedel, Geneviève, Declemy, Anne-Laure, Ayessou, Nicolas, Akissoe, Noel, Touré, Cheikh, Bennett, Ben, Pintado, Manuela, Pallet, Dominique and Tomlins, Keith (2013) Relationships between anthocyanins and other compounds and sensory acceptability of Hibiscus drinks. Food Chemistry, 140 (1). ISSN 0308-8146 (doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.09.132)
- Bechoff, Aurélie, Poulaert, Marie, Tomlins, Keith I., Westby, Andrew, Menya, Geoffrey, Young, Stephen and Dhuique-Mayer, Claudie (2011) Retention and bioaccessibility of β-carotene in blended foods containing orange-fleshed sweet potato flour. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 59 (18). pp. 10373-10380. ISSN 0021-8561 (Print), 1520-5118 (Online) (doi:10.1021/jf201205y)
- Tomlins, Keith, Owori, Constance, Bechoff, Aurelie, Menya, Geoffrey and Westby, Andrew (2011) Relationship among the carotenoid content, dry matter content and sensory attributes of sweet potato. Food Chemistry, 131 (1). pp. 14-21. ISSN 0308-8146 (doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2011.07.072)
- Bechoff, Aurélie, Dhuique-Mayer, Claudie, Dornier, Manuel, Tomlins, Keith I., Boulanger, Renaud, Dufour, Dominique and Westby, Andrew (2010) Relationship between the kinetics of β-carotene degradation and formation of norisoprenoids in the storage of dried sweet potato chips. Food Chemistry, 121 (2). pp. 348-357. ISSN 0308-8146 (doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2009.12.035)
- Bechoff, Aurélie, Westby, Andrew, Owori, Constance, Menya, Geoffrey, Dhuique-Mayer, Claudie, Dufour, Dominique and Tomlins, Keith (2009) Effect of drying and storage on the degradation of total carotenoids in orange-fleshed sweetpotato cultivars. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 90 (4). pp. 622-629. ISSN 0022-5142 (Print), 1097-0010 (Online) (doi:10.1002/jsfa.3859)
- Bechoff, A., Dufour, D., Dhuique-Mayer, C., Marouzé, C., Reynes, M. and Westby, A. (2008) Effect of hot air, solar and sun drying treatments on provitamin A retention in orange-fleshed sweetpotato. Journal of Food Engineering, 92 (2). pp. 164-171. ISSN 0260-8774 (doi:10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2008.10.034)
Food technologist and nutritionist. Eleven years of post-doctoral experience in nutritional losses during root and tuber crop processing, consumer and sensory science, nutrition for global health.
- Member of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy
- Member of the International Society for Tuber and Roots crops (ISTRC)
- 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).