PhD students in LivsID

Last changed: 05 February 2024
A woman with blond hair in a ponytail stands in a laboratory with a bottle in her hand. Photo.

The industrial PhD students are employed by the company where the project is based and conducted research in food-related applied areas. Through LivsID's activities, they also interact with each other and create a network between academia and companies.

The program was initiated with support of the government as part of the National food strategy. The program was established in autumn 2018 with initially 10 projects. One more project is associated. The program is running in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala. Read more about the projects below! 

BioGaia: Production of potent probiotic bacteria

Probiotics have a great potential to prevent and treat diseases in humans and animals, but there is no overall picture of how industrial production affects the probiotic effect. The project will provide answers to how lactic acid bacteria build up their stress tolerance and bioactivity and how different production parameters can be used to design BioGaia's future innovative products.

Portrait photo of a man in front of a green plant indoors. Photo.

PhD-student: Ludwig Ermann Lundberg
Department at SLU: Department of Molecular Sciences
Academic supervisor: Sebastian Håkansson
Industrial supervisor: Stefan Roos


DeLaval: Management of cows with mastitis in automatic milking systems

Many dairy cows suffer from mastitis, which entails costs for the farmer. High cell counts are more common in AMS and lead to poorer milk quality. The big challenge is to give the cow the right treatment and at the same time minimize the need for antibiotics and the risk of antibiotic resistance. Sensors can detect cows with mastitis, but the scientific data on how these cows should be handled is lacking, which this project should remedy.

John has completed his docotral thesis  ”Sensor-based mastitis management in automatic milking system farms - Mastitis management from a data-centric and economic perspective”.

Portrait photo of a smiling man outdoors. Photo.

PhD-student: John Bonestroo
Department at SLU: Department of Clinical Sciences
Academic supervisor: Nils Fall
Industrial supervisor: Ilka Klaas


Fazer: Dietary fibre, gut-brain axis and health behaviour

Diet affects our brain via gut microbiota and gut-brain axis, the complex communication system between the gut and the brain. Rye and oats are cereals rich in dietary fibre and polyphenols, components known to affect gut microbiota. Under this project, the effects of fibre-rich bread on gut microbiota and further on gut-brain axis are studied. In addition, health communication and -behaviour over these topics is researched. The project supports the innovation of healthy, personalised food solutions and communication over the health benefits of grain products.

Portrait photo of a woman with long hair. Photo.

PhD-student: Laura Pirkola
Department at SLU: Department of Molecular Sciences
Academic supervisor: Roger Andersson roger.andersson@slu
Industrial supervisor: Jussi Loponen


Kronfågel: Reduce the number of campylobacter and other pathogenic bacteria in the ready-to-eat chicken

Swedish chicken production is challenged when the demand for chicken increases at the same time as chicken has been linked to disease outbreaks among consumers. In the project, production and slaughter will be studied in detail to find solutions that can reduce the amount of disease-causing bacteria. This will lead to reduced levels of disease-causing and food-destroying bacteria in the chicken. The project will be run by Kronfågel and SLU.

Department at SLU: Department of Biomedical Science and Veterinary Public Health
PhD-student: Tomasz Dzieciolowski
Academic supervisor: Ingrid Hansson
Industrial supervisor: Christian Gylche

Lantmännen: The feed of the future and the demand valuers of the future for a competitive dairy industry and plant breeding

Increased use of domestic feed is strategically important for a sustainable development of Swedish milk production. The project goal is to contribute to increased knowledge and understanding of the embankment's feed value. We believe that the structure of lignin in different grass plants can explain differences in feed efficiency. Knowledge will be important in the future plant breeding, feed development and in concrete advice to milk producers.

Department at SLU: Department of Animal Environment and Health
PhD-student: Annie Larsson
Academic supervisor: Elisabet Nadeau
Industrial supervisor: Pär-Johan Lööf

Lantmännen: Wheat flour quality for baking applications

Wheat flour has been studied for a long time and yet its properties are not fully understood. The baking properties of wheat flour are dependent on multiple factors, many of which have only been studied individually. We believe that to get further a more holistic approach is needed. In this project biochemical and rheological factors are combined to find how they contribute to the finished bread. This knowledge is highly requested from the milling and baking industry and can potentially be implemented in wheat breeding as well. 

Portrait photo of a smiling blonde woman. Photo.

PhD-student: Louise Selga
Department at SLU:Department of Molecular Sciences
Academic supervisor: Roger Andersson Roger.andersson@slu
Industrial supervisor: Christian Malmberg


Lantmännen: Fractionation of wheat bran to create functional ingredients

Wheat bran is a major agro-industrial by-product of flour milling. It is currently used mainly for animal feed and bioenergy production though it contains a large amount of nutrients and polymers that could also be utilized in food applications. Arabinoxylan (AX) is an abundant hemicellulose in wheat bran and an important component in baked products. In addition, AX could potentially have nutritional functionality as highly viscous fibers like AX have been shown to have health-promoting properties in the gastrointestinal tract. AX is however embedded in a complex cell wall matrix and hard to extract efficiently from bran without compromising its properties in terms of molecular weight and feruloylation.

Aim of this doctoral project is to fractionate wheat bran on industrial scale and to optimize this process to generate AX with different properties. Extraction yield of AX is maximized by combining novel pretreatments like pulsed electric field with different extraction methods. AX will be also characterized in terms of properties and functionality first in model systems and then in food applications. Raw material and process conditions are expected to affect both functional properties of fractions and their functionality in food products. Extracted AX is anticipated to provide functional properties in various foods, such as better baking properties and longer shelf life in bread.

This project is expected to lead to utilization of a milling by-product as a functional food ingredient and to increase sustainability of cereal production. Also nutritionally beneficial components of wheat bran currently lost in milling to feed and bioenergy production will be brought back to human consumption. Using bran for food productions will also increase the value of this previously low cost side stream.

Portrait photo of a smiling blonde woman. Photo.

PhD-student: Solja Pietiäinen
Department at SLU: Department of Molecular Sciences
Academic supervisor: Maud Langton
Industrial supervisor: Annelie Moldin


Nordic Beet Research: Longer storage and less loss in sugar beets

Sugar beets in Sweden can be stored post-harvest in the field from mid-November into early February. The thermodynamics of the storage and the levels of mechanical damage to the beets are major drivers of post-harvest loss and parameters, which farmers can manage. This doctoral project applies controlled trials and system modelling to study these aspects and how they interact with the physiological and management aspects of sugar beet production.

William defended his thesis in June 2023.

Portrait photo of a smiling man. Photo.

PhD-student: William English
Department at SLU: Department of Biosystems and Technology
Academic supervisor: Håkan Asp
Industrial supervisor: Joakim Ekelöf


Norrmejerier: The origin and presence of lactobacilli in the cheese value chain

Lactobacilli are central to the taste development of many aged cheeses. However, how their occurrence and function in dairy raw materials and cheese are affected by various factors on the farm, such as the choice of fodder plants, fodder preservation, stable environment and milking system, has been little studied. In the project, we want to follow the lactobacilli's path from farm to cheese with the goal of increasing the long-term profitability of milk producers and dairies through better quality management throughout the value chain.

Portrait photo of a man against green background. Photo.

PhD-student: Thomas Eliasson
Department at SLU: Department of Molecular Sciences
Academic supervisor: Åse Lundh
Industrial supervisor: Karin Hallin Saeden


Thomas Eliassons CV-page at SLU

VikingGenetics: DNA-Tinder cow - a program for selection and matching

The project aims to develop an aid for breeding at herd level. DNA information is inexpensive to obtain for individuals and can be used to select recruitment animals. In addition, DNA information can be used to check for the presence of genetic defects and to control inbreeding in the herd. Matching at the DNA level is the main purpose of the project.

Portraitphoto of a man indoors. Photo.

PhD-student: Christian Bengtsson
Department at SLU: Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Academic supervisor: Erling Strandberg
Industrial supervisor: Jørn Rind Thomasen



Äppelriket – The Apple Kingdom: Swedish apples all year round through new storage technology

Annually, we consume about 110 million kg of apples in Sweden. Only 33% (2016) of them were Swedish and there is great potential for increasing the production of Swedish apples. To succeed in this, more research is needed on the post-harvest period (postharvest). Swedish orchard consists for the most part of unique varieties. These require specific storage parameters to maintain their quality during storage. Joakim Sjöstrand has given his half-time presentation in the project. Please contact him if you would like to have more information!

Portrait photo of a man indoors. Photo.

PhD-student: Joakim Sjöstrand
Department at SLU: Department of Plant Breeding
Academic supervisor: Marie Olsson
Industrial supervisor: Henrik Stridh