Exciting PhD Scholarship at AU FOOD Denmark: GREEN APPETITE: Cross-cultural acceptance of plant-based high-protein food solutions

Deadline application: 22 October 2021, 23:59

The position is available from 1 January 2022

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Food Science programme.

Position will be with the Food Quality Perception and Society Science Team @AU FOOD

Research area and project description:
The PhD projects focuses are the drivers and eating behaviours leading to acceptance of high-protein plant-based foods. The aims are to broaden our understanding of the intake of plant based diets, how they can be beneficial for weight loss in practice, and the long term potential for human adaption and success in future eating.

Consumption of meat has reached a global level of 42 kg (76 kg in the EU) per person per year which may double by 2050. A high red meat intake is reported associated with negative health effects including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancers. At the same time meat production is reported as contributing to a loss of biodiversity, climate change and pollution. The EU, FAO, and WHO, acknowledge the urgent need for a transition to a more sustainable food system with less negative health effects and less impact on the environment. One way to meet this need is by reducing the agricultural emissions from animal production and lower meat consumption, via increased consumer-driven product demand for plant-based protein.

To facilitate this aspect of the green transition, the subjective drivers for implementation of plant-based protein solutions, and the potential wellbeing and eating behavioural consequences of such solutions need to be clarified to ensure adherence in the population.

In this PhD you will address ways to include plant-based protein among special interest groups contrasted in Danish (DK) and Chinese (CN) populations. This includes, elucidating socio-cultural-, psychological- and product-related possibilities for acceptance of plant-based food solutions, identification of plan-based protein solutions relevant for DK and CN populations, as well as the study of subjective wellbeing (psychological and physical) and food desires when consuming such foods.

The PhD will impact our fundamental understanding of how different consumer segments can adjust and learn to appreciate new dietary solutions, as well as which plant-based protein solutions work best in DK and CN diets.

Furthermore, the PhD will improve our understanding of important subjective values to consider, when asking consumers to adhere to plant-based food and the well-being related consequences of consuming such diets, knowledge which is important for maintaining dietary changes, and relevant for health authorities recommendations into the future.

Qualifications and specific competences:
Applicants to the PhD position must have a relevant Master’s degree in Food Science, Sensory Science, Nutritional Science or equivalent.

Competencies in sensory and consumer analyses, nutritional science, cross-cultural research, and knowledge about food-related pleasures would be an advantage.

Candidates must demonstrate evidence of creativity, independent learning, and a willingness to embrace an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving.

Place of employment and place of work:
E.g.: The place of employment is Department of Food Science,Aarhus University, and the place of work is Agro Food Park 48, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark. 

Further information

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