Inaugural lecture Prof. Dr. Eddy J. Smid - 11 June 2015 -

Published on
March 23, 2015

Eddy J. Smid, Professor in Food Microbiology with personal chair, will give his inaugural address, entitled “Fermented foods: a product of science and craftsmanship”, on Thursday 11 June 2015. The lecture will take place at 16.00 hours at the University Auditorium (Generaal Foulkesweg 1, Wageningen).

Microorganisms are the drivers of food fermentation processes with lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi as major work horses in various food fermentation processes ranging from artisanal to modern industrial processes. Microbes deliver the special characteristics of fermented food products through their metabolic activity, secretion of enzymes in the food matrix and survival behaviour. For that reason, in-depth knowledge of individual micro-organisms and consortia of microbes present on and in substrates for fermentation, is key for understanding, controlling and predicting the outcome of a fermentation process. Sequence-based molecular technologies such as metagenomics and metatranscriptomics, provide data for detailed analysis of the diversity, dynamics  and functionality of microbiota in fermented foods and beverages. Genomics data leverage novel multi-strain metabolic modelling approaches to deliver hypothesis for metabolic interactions between microbes in complex cultures. In conclusion, the educational and research activities of the chair will focus on understanding, controlling and improving the composition, dynamics and functionality of complex microbial communities in fermented food products, with special focus on the consequences for product characteristics.

Eddy J. Smid (Appingedam, 1960) obtained his MSc degree (1986, Cum Laude) and PhD degree (1991) in Biology with specialisation in Molecular Microbiology at the University of Groningen. His PhD thesis describes lactococcal peptide transport and casein utilisation. In 1990, he joined ATO-DLO, Wageningen, The Netherlands and conducted research on microbiological aspects of safety and quality of agricultural, horticultural and floricultural products. In 2000, he joined NIZO food research, Ede, The Netherlands to lead research groups with activities in the field of metabolic engineering and fermentation research. In 2010, Smid joined the Laboratory of Food Microbiology, Wageningen University to head the research group on Food Fermentation. In August 2014, he was appointed as full Professor with a personal chair in Food Microbiology at the Laboratory of Food Microbiology, Wageningen University.