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. She has undertaken cutting-edge research - in particular in pro-vitamin A retention in roots and tuber crops - that has resulted in winning projects and international peer-reviewed publications. Over the years she has also grown expertise in sensory and consumer research for low-middle-income countries (LMICs). Currently she is leading an IMMANA-DFID funded project called NUTRI-P-LOSS (£250,000) (2016-19) on the development of a methodology for estimating nutritional postharvest losses, from harvest to market, for three key crops for food security - sweet potato, maize, cowpea - in Zimbabwe and Uganda. Lately Dr Bechoff has enrolled in a part-time MSc in Nutrition for Global Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (2017-19) to expand her skills in nutrition research for LMICs.
In her earlier years at NRI as a PhD student (2005–10), Aurélie Bechoff brought an original contribution to research on the extent of pro-vitamin A carotenoid degradation during drying and storage of dried sweet potato. The results of the PhD have made an important and measurable contribution to the HarvestPlus Challenge Programme Project (a 4-year Gates-funded project in which NRI was a partner organisation) and resulted in 7 international peer-reviewed publications. This also led her to win a project funded by HarvestPlus (2012-15) ($300,000) that investigated the provitamin A retention during gari processing of biofortified yellow cassava in Nigeria. Dr Bechoff has long-term experience in Burkina Faso, Ecuador, and Uganda and short-term experience elsewhere in Africa (i.e. Malawi, Mozambique, DRC Congo, Cameroon, Gabon, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast), in America (Peru, Mexico) and in Asia (Vietnam, China, Nepal). French is her mother tongue and she speaks fluent Spanish.
Experience in carotenoid retention during root and tuber crop processing, post-harvest technology, food quality, nutritional postharvest losses, consumer and sensory research, nutrition in LMICs
Dr Bechoff is leading a DFID-funded project as part of the IMMANA programme called NUTRI-P-LOSS (£250,000) (2016-19) and is involved as various research projects including BMGF-funded RTBFoods, EU-funded 2Fas, CGIAR-funded RTB projects, and Bambara-Market project.
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 GRATITUDE project (2012-2015) on measuring postharvest losses in roots and tubers and value addition and the AFTER project (2011-2014) 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 (2009-2011). 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.
- 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. Ten years of post-doctoral experience in nutritional retention during root and tuber crop processing, post-harvest technology, 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).