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Ingeborg Haagsma-Boels new professor of Protein Transition in Food

On 1 January 2023, Dr Ingeborg Haagsma-Boels was appointed as professor of Protein Transition in Food. She takes over from Fred van de Velde. Her arrival broadens the scope of the research group to include the development of products with alternative proteins for human consumption. This means that the research group will focus on cellular agriculture and insects, as well as plant based proteins.

Ingeborg Haagsma-Boels

Due to a growing global population and increasing prosperity, the demand for proteins and protein rich products will continue to rise during the next few years. To feed this growing, increasingly urban and affluent global population, food production needs to increase by approximately 60% up to 2050. It’s clear that increased demand cannot be met by relying on traditional protein sources alone.

Facilitating protein transition

The climate agreement and the national protein strategy both aim for a more sustainable form of protein production, which also contributes to improving human health. Protein transition in food means the transition from more traditional protein sources, such as dairy, meat and soy, to alternative sources such as protein from (regional) agricultural crops, cellular agriculture or insects. The research group aims to facilitate this transition by ensuring close ties between professional practice, practice based research and education.

Bringing together innovation, sustainability and consumer acceptance

The protein transition requires innovation throughout the entire chain, from protein source to consumer product. To ensure a successful transition, this will require more than just product development. These products must also be sustainably produced and accepted by the consumer, which won’t happen overnight. Together with the research group, Ingeborg Haagsma-Boels aims to translate the key issues to practice based research, in which innovation, sustainability and consumer acceptance are brought together. The challenge is to innovate towards products that the consumer will accept, that are sustainably produced and generate revenue for the farmer.

Impact on education and industry

Together with the  research group, Ingeborg will ensure that findings and innovations will be integrated into education and that knowledge will be disseminated to the industry. With her research group, Ingeborg will initially focus on the further development of the new minor Protein Transition: Towards a Sustainable Future for (international) students and will engage in new partnerships with consortium partners from within the entire food chain.

CV Ingeborg Haagsma-Boels

Ingeborg Haagsma-Boels trained as a Food Technologist/Biotechnician in Wageningen. She completed her PhD research on metabolic engineering of lactic acid bacteria at Wageningen University & Research in 2002. Since then, she has gained extensive experience in R&D and product innovation in the FMCG food sector. She has worked in various roles at NIZO, WCFS (precursor TIFN), Friesland Foods (Royal Friesland Campina) and she was R&D Director at Westland Cheese BV from 2013 - 2022. She has been working as a lecturer-researcher at HAS green academy since April 2022, and was already connected to the Protein Transition in Food research group from this role.

More information about the Protein Transition in Food research group