Saskia van Ruth at RIKILT Wageningen UR was recently named professor (by special appointment) of Food Authenticity and Integrity. She will be concentrating on research into the specific characteristics of foodstuffs, especially those produced in a socially responsible manner. Examples include organic eggs, meat, tomatoes, wine, grains and vegetables, but also sustainable palm oil, dairy milk, fair trade coffee and meat with an ‘ethical meat’ trademark. She is also interested in criminological factors that determine the role played by some people/organisations in food authenticity.
An investigation of food authenticity involves looking in detail at the composition of product groups using special analytical methods and calculation models. Researchers can fingerprint the product group, to which unknown products can then be compared.
Van Ruth’s part-time chair comes under the Chair Group Food Quality and Design (until recently: Product Design and Quality Management) at Wageningen University. She remains attached to RIKILT where she leads the Authenticity and Novel Foods Business Unit