Knowledge for a sustainable world

MSc x 2, PhD

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

Current:

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.

Past:

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.

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).
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