MH (Marcel) Zwietering MH (Marcel) Zwietering


After finishing his study in Biotechnology at Wageningen University (1987, with distinction) Marcel Zwietering started working in the Food Process Engineering group at the same university. In 1993 he received his Ph.D. (with distinction, <5% of the theses) on a thesis with the title Modeling of the microbial quality of food. He continued in the same group as assistant and later associate professor. His research was focussed mainly at quantitative microbiology and risk assessment. In 1995 he spent a sabbatical half year in the Unilever research lab in Colworth House, UK.

In 1998 he moved to the research lab of Danone, Le Plessis Robinson in France, where he worked until 2002 on quality control of starter cultures, investigation of the symbiosis, metabolic flux analysis, and quantitative risk assessment.

Since January 2003 he is professor in Food Microbiology at Wageningen University. Within this chair research subjects in the domain of food safety management, risk analysis, fermentation, detection and hygiene, eco-physiology and functional genomics are investigated. Education goes from basic food microbiology BSc courses, to MSc courses in Advanced Food Microbiology, Food Fermentation, Advanced Fermentation, Food Safety Risk Assessment and Food Safety Management. The chair is also involved in contributions to courses in risk communication and life sciences for social scientists. Furthermore, there are several PhD courses. There is a distance BSc course given for the NTU University in Singapore and a distance learning international MSc food technology program is running. Additionally, together with the Toxicology section a Food Safety MOOC has been developed that has received a large international audience.    

He has published 208 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has a h-factor of 44 (Scopus October 2019).

Marcel is editor of the International Journal of Food Microbiology and member of the editorial board of the Journal of Food Protection.

He is co-chair of the ILSI-Europe Microbiological Food Safety task force, and the strategic advisory committee of the Food Safety Authority of the Netherlands.

He is regularly invited for international expert consultations for the FAO/WHO (JEMRA, Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meetings on Microbiological Risk Assessment) European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and Codex working groups. 

In 2005 he was elected as member of the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF) and in 2006 he was appointed in the Dutch Health Council.

At IAFP2019 he was awarded the Elmer Marth Educator Award and the International Leadership Award.  

He currently supervises 11 PhD students and has supervised 32 PhD students obtaining their degree. He has been examiner of 32 PhD students at Wageningen University and 25 external PhD students (of which 21 outside the Netherlands). Since 2018 he is member of the Academic Board of Wageningen University.

prof. dr. ir. M.H. Zwietering

Professor in Food Microbiology

Wageningen University

personal page:

Laboratory of Food Microbiology