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Hasitha Priyashantha

Hasi Priyashantha
My focus area is Dairy Science & Technology and thus the research interests are pertaining to wider aspects concerning the raw milk characteristics and dairy/food technology. My current work is to understand how the texture, microstructure and flavour develop in Swedish long-ripened hard cheese, in relation to raw milk composition and properties. The project is implemented in collaboration between SLU (Uppsala and Umeå) and industry (e.g. Norrmejerier, Umeå)


I am a PhD student in Food Science at Åse Lundh Lab, Department of Molecular Sciences. My major focus area is dairy (cheese) technology. We aimed to investigate the impact of raw milk composition and properties on the variation of maturity and properties of resulting long-ripened cheese. 


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Teaching in Food Chemistry and Physics (LV0105) MSc. Course

1.) Enzymes in food 
2.) Water in food

Lab assistant/demonstrator in Animal Food Science (LV0099) MSc. Course

1.) Milk coagulation and rheology lab exercise 
2.) Meat texture and colour lab exercise 


I am applying several food structure characterization methods such as; hyperspectral imaging, microscopic (confocal, electron and fluorescence) imaging, rheological techniques and other advanced food structure measuring techniques to track the changes over the ripening period. Development of aroma components and sensorial properties will be analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively (sensory panel and headspace GC-MS). I also work with the characterization of raw milk composition and properties (e.g. gross composition, casein micelle size, plasmin etc.).


The main organizer of the PhD study visit to Japan and the main applicant of the grant (162 000 SEK) from PhD School Focus on Food & Biomaterials and SLU Future Food

Chairperson of SLUSS PhD Student Council 2018

Social Media Coordinator at the Department of Molecular Sciences, SLU, Aug 2018 – Present

PhD student representative in PhD school "Focus on Food & Biomaterials"


I am a well-organized, strategic, result-oriented and enthusiastic team player. I have involved in many extracurricular activities during my PhD (i.e. Organizing a study trip, a symposium and chairing the SLU's PhD council). Confident and influential communicator with good scientific practices (i.e. Departmental social media coordinator, invited to deliver speeches & various presentations, popular articles and scientific papers; see below). 

I obtained Erasmus Mundus Food of Life double masters from University of Copenhagen (MSc. in Food Science) and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (MSc. in Animal Science). I obtained my bachelor’s degree (first-class division) in Agricultural Technology and Management from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.


BSc. Studies 

Visualization of fluorescent Lactobacillus reuteri in milk using epifluorescence microscopy; Read full thesis from SLU Library

Identification of microbial composition of Swedish hard cheese by MALDI ToF mass spectrometry; Read full thesis from SLU Library.

Shelf Stability of Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) Treated Milk Brands in Sri Lanka: A Case Study; in colloboration with University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (copy of the thesis is available on request).

Variation in Swedish bovine milk over 25 years; A Review 

MSc. Studies

Variation in milk composition and its correlation to rennet induced coagulation: A case study from northern Sweden. 

Plasmin and Plasminogen Variation in Bovine Raw Milk. Read full thesis from SLU Library 


Selected publications


Research articles:

Priyashantha, H., Höjer, A., Saedén, K. H., Lundh, Å., Johansson, M., Bernes, G., Geladi, P., Hetta, M. Use of near-infrared hyperspectral (NIR-HS) imaging to visualize and model the maturity of long-ripening hard cheeses. Journal of Food Engineering. 2019.

Priyashantha, H., Lundh, Å., Höjer, A., Hetta, M., Johansson, M., Langton, M.,  Interactive effects of casein micelle size and calcium and citrate content on rennet‐induced coagulation in bovine milk. Journal of Texture Studies. 2019; 1-12

Priyashantha, H., Quintáns, A.P., Baixauli, R., Vidanarachchi, J.K., Type of starter culture influences on structural and sensorial properties of low protein fermented gels. Journal of Texture Studies, 2019; 1-11.

Sun, L., Dicksved, J., Priyashantha, H., Lundh, Å., Johansson, M. Distribution of bacteria between different milk fractions, investigated using culture-dependent methods and molecular-based and fluorescent microscopy approaches. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 2019 

Cover pages:

Cover Image, Journal of Texture Studies, Volume 50, Issue 6, 2019


Hasitha Priyashantha, Annika Höjer, Karin Hallin-Saedén, Gun Bernes, Monika Johansson, Maud Langton, Åse Lundh, Paul Geladi and Mårten Hetta. Near-infrared hyperspectral imaging for prediction of the maturity of long ripened hard cheese. Poster presented at: IDF World Dairy Summit (2017), Belfast, UK.

Also, the poster was presented at the Food Science Sweden conference in Uppsala, Sweden.

Hasitha Priyashantha, Monika Johansson, Annika Höjer,  Mårten Hetta, Maud Langton and Åse Lundh. Interaction between casein micelle size, calcium and citrate in renneted milk coagulation. Poster presented at: 32nd EFFoST (2018), Nantes, France.

Hasitha Priyashantha. Hyperspectral imaging for rapid prediction of cheese maturity. Poster presented at: 7th Edition of Advanced Food Analysis VLAG International PhD course at Wageningen, The Netherlands. Awarded as the runner-up of the poster session.

Hasitha Priyashantha, Annika Höjer, Karin Hallin-Saedén, Gun Bernes, Monika Johansson, Maud Langton, Åse Lundh, Paul Geladi and Mårten Hetta. Near-infrared hyperspectral imaging in cheese ripening. Oral presentation and poster presented The Chemical Side of SLU IV 2019 August, Uppsala, Sweden. 

Presented NABC (Need-Approach-Benefits-Competitiveness) style pitch based on PhD project at the Food Science Sweden Conference in Lund, November 2019

Participated and delivered an oral presentation about PhD project at the Baltic University Programme's training on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary PhD education workshop for PhD students in Rogow, Poland. 24-28 November 2019

Oral presentation on raw milk quality in cheese making at Nordic Joint Committee for Agricultural and Food Research, 2020-08-27

Popular Articles: 

Priyashantha, H., Höjer, A., Saedén, K. H., Lundh, Å., Johansson, M., Bernes, G., Geladi, P., Hetta, M. Can cheese maturity be measured using images? New Food Article 90979.

Hasitha Priyashantha, Nazlı Türkmen, Shishanthi Jayarathna. Challenges in probiotic dairy-based beverages. New Food. Issue 5. Beverages. In-Depth Focus – October 2019.

Gun Bernes, Annika Höjer, Åse Lundh, Johan Dicksved, Monika Johansson, Hasitha Priyashantha, and  Li Sun,  Anders H Gustafsson, and  Maud Langton, and Mårten Hetta and Karin Hallin Saedén. Forskning pågår - från foder till ost. Nytt / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för norrländsk jordbruksvetenskap (12609821), Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet, SLU. (2018). Online version available here.

Hasitha Priyashantha, Galia Zamaratskia, Senaka Ranadheera, Priyanga Ranasinghe, The power of Ceylon cinnamon, New Food, Issue 2: 2019. The online version is accessible by visiting the magazine.

Swedish translated version "Kanelen ger mer än smak" published in Livsmedel i fokus, Issue number: 4, ISSN: 1652-912X 

A matter of concentration - Popular Science Article, Dairy Industries International, October 2019, Volume 84 No. 10.


Read more at Research Gate


Organized a Sri Lankan Symposium -SLU webpage 2019-06-19

Press releases

Daily Mirror Newspaper

The Island Newspaper

Organized a study trip to Japan - SLU webpage 2018-05-21

- Popular article in resurs

-Article in "Livsmedel i fokus" -April issue, 2018, Page 54 (PDF available on request)


The Graduate School LiFT (Future Technologies for Food production) graduate student profile

Invited speaker at the seminar of equal opportunities at SLU

Mjölkråvaran avgörande för mejeriprodukternas hållbarhet och smak (only available in Swedish, prepared in collaboration with Maria Karlsson for Matologi - food festival in Stockholm, 2018)

Seminar on visualization and modelling the maturity of long ripening hard cheese using NIR hyperspectral imaging at the VH faculty day 2018 (Aula, Uppsala) and Umeå - in connection with first year evlaution 

LiFT PhD course in Swedish Food industry in Lund.

Doctoral Student at the Department of Molecular Sciences; Animaliska livsmedel
Postal address:
Institutionen för molekylära vetenskaper
Box 7015
750 07 Uppsala
Visiting address: Almas Allé 5, BioCentrum, Ultuna, Uppsala