Dr Aurélie Bechoff
MSc x 2, PhD
Food and Markets Department
Natural Resources Institute
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.
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.
- Tomlins, Keith, Owori, Constance, Bechoff, Aurelie, Menya, Geoffrey and Westby, Andrew (2012) 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, 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) Item not available online.
- Bechoff, Aurélie, Westby, Andrew, Menya, Geoffrey and Tomlins, Keith I. (2011) Effect of pretreatments for retaining total carotenoids in dried and stored orange-fleshed-sweet potato chips. Journal of Food Quality, 34 (4). pp. 259-267. ISSN 1745-4557 (online) (doi:10.1111/j.1745-4557.2011.00391.x) Item not available online.
- Bechoff, Aurélie, Tomlins, Keith, Dhuique-Mayer, Claudie, Dove, Richard and Westby, Andrew (2011) On-farm evaluation of the impact of drying and storage on the carotenoid content of orange-fleshed sweet potato (Ipomea batata Lam.). International Journal of Food Science & Technology, 46 (1). pp. 52-60. ISSN 0950-5423 (Print), 1365-2621 (Online) (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.2010.02450.x) Item not available online.
- 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) Item not available online.
- Bechoff, Aurélie, Westby, Andrew, Owori, Constance, Menya, Geoffrey, Dhuique-Mayer, Claudie, Dufour, Dominique and Tomlins, Keith (2010) 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) Item not available online.
- Bechoff, A., Dufour, D., Dhuique-Mayer, C., Marouzé, C., Reynes, M. and Westby, A. (2009) 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) Item not available online.
- Tomlins, K., Rees, D, Coote, C., Bechoff, A., Okwadi, J., Massingue, J., Ray, R., and Westby, A. (2009) Sweet Potato Utilization, Storage, Small-Scale Processing and Marketing in Africa. In "Sweet Potato: Post Harvest Aspects in Food", Editors: R. C. Ray and K. I. Tomlins, Nova Science Publishers, Inc, ISBN 978-1-60876-343-6 (Book Chapter)
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)
- 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).
Dr Aurélie Bechoff
Natural Resources Institute
University of Greenwich
Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, United Kingdom.
Tel: +44 (0)1634 88 3071