Nils Foss prize awarded to Professor Rasmus Bro and Dr Bekzod Khakimov for groundbreaking work in food science
FOSS announces the winners of the Nils Foss prize - a new annual prize for food scientists in honour of the work of FOSS founder, Nils Foss and his lifelong dedication to the development of innovative analytical technology for improved food quality and safety.
Professor Rasmus Bro from Copenhagen University takes the Nils Foss excellence prize for achievement within food science innovation and research and Dr. Bekzod Khakimov, also from Copenhagen University, wins the Nils Foss Talent prize as a young and promising scientist. Both received their prize at a ceremony held at the FOSS Innovation Centre in Hilleroed, Denmark, today.
Making sense of a fragmented world
Professor Rasmus Bro’s work includes the introduction of new mathematical methods to help make better use of the vast amounts of valuable data generated by modern analytical instrument platforms in use in the medical, pharmaceutical and food & feed industries. He has also pioneered a new mathematical approach to chemical analysis to aid environmental monitoring and has developed a revolutionary concept, Biocontour, for predicting the risk of developing breast cancer based on a blood sample test.
A key theme throughout Professor Bro’s work is the concept of covariance drawing on the combined strength of normally isolated data sources to give a clearer picture of what is going on in complex processes such those as involved in food and pharmaceutical production. With support from organizations such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Arla foods and Novo Nordisk, he has put together the world’s first university education on the theme of using advanced data for better production of food and pharmaceuticals.
The promise of metabolomics
31 year old Bekzod Khakimov has a PhD in metabolomics from 2013 and has continued as a post doc to build up his ‘Foodomics’ lab at Copenhagen University, a database of food compounds called the Copenhagen Open Metabolite DatabaSe (COMDAS) for facilitating easy assignments of food metabolites.
Metabolomics is an exciting new area of food science with positive implications for future food production.
Until recently, food analyses were limited to estimating nutritional values within the content of six broad categories: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, water, vitamins, and minerals. Metabolomics is transforming all that by revealing the thousands of bioactive food components that could affect human well-being and health. In turn, this can help food producers to optimise the composition of processed food and also help them to screen raw material for unwanted components due to deliberate or accidental adulteration.
The two awards are in step with the FOSS spirit of innovation that is such an important part of the FOSS DNA. For the Excellence prize, at least 75% of the DKK 750,000 award must be used for further scientific research. The Talent prize of DKK 100,000 is without condition.
FOSS chairman, Peter Foss said: “With these two prizes, FOSS aims to recognise scientific talent and commitment that makes an important difference. At the same time, we are honouring the work of the company’s founder who, through his entrepreneurship over 60 years, has been a driver in the development of an international company contributing to higher quality in the food supply chain.”
FOSS invests 10% of annual revenue in innovative technology and product development and has a close ongoing working relationship with universities and the scientific community.
Both winners also received an artwork by Danish glass artist Torben Jørgensen.
Read more about the Nils Foss Excellence Prize at: www.foss.dk/nils-foss-prizes/winners-2016
FOSS is the world's leading provider of analytical instruments for the global food and agricultural sector primarily in milk, grain, feed, meat and wine. 80% of all traded grain on the world market is analysed with a FOSS solution and 85% of the world's milk is tested by a FOSS solution. Our global customers represent some of the biggest players in the dairy, food and agriculture market and shares challenges in areas such as food security, scarcity of raw materials, animal welfare, environmental degradation and overpopulation.
Our role is to develop and market analytical solutions that help our customers to maximize efficiency, improve quality and ensure the integrity of the food chain. FOSS is 100% family owned and was founded in 1956 by Nils Foss. FOSS had a turnover in 2015 of over €270 million and has more than 1400 employees working in development and manufacturing sites in Denmark and China and 28 sales and service companies worldwide. www.foss.dk
For further information contact: Per Falholt, chairman for Nils Foss Prize committee, tlf. +45 24421172 or Torben Ladegaard, Senior Advisor at FOSS, tlf. +45 20457050