Plenary speaker

Prof. Branka Levaj –

Past, Present and Future Challenges for the Food Industry: Fruit and Vegetable Products

Prof. Branka Levaj is the head of the Laboratory for Chemistry and Technology of Fruits and Vegetables at the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Croatia. Her research has been focused on the study of the stability of minimally processed (fresh- cut) fruits and vegetables, as well as on the changes in chemical components such as plant pigments, pectin and aroma substances during ripening, processing and storage. Prof. Levaj has participated in and led several scientific, professional and technological projects at national and international level and has been involved in the development of several new food products.


Prof. Song Miao –

Designing micro-gel structure for the delivery of functionality of food

Prof. Song Miao is Principal Investigator and Senior Research Officer at Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Ireland and Adjunct Professor at the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University  Cork, Ireland. He is an member of the editorial boards of several scientific journals. Prof. Miao’s current research programme focuses on food design through understanding the product behaviour of materials and the underlying physics of structuring processes as well as the behaviour of food during processing and in the physiological environment.

Prof. Ferruh Erdogdu –

Future of Food Engineering and Emerging Computational Processing – Manufacturing

Prof. Ferruh Erdoğdu joined the Department of Food Engineering at Ankara University in Turkey in 2014. He has led and participated in a number of research projects, won several awards, and served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. In 2022, he was elected as the co- editor in chief of the Journal of Food Engineering. His research objective is to innovate food engineering research using virtual tools based on mathematical modelling and to continue research in the application of engineering principles to food and agricultural materials to help solve real world problems.

Nutrition, health and consumer

Prof. Rui Costa –

Ethical issues in food chain

Prof. Rui Costa has been working at the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Portugal, since 1999. He is co-editor of 3 books published by Springer Nature, including the book “Food Ethics Education”. Currently, Prof. Costa coordinates the Sector Skills Alliance EU-funded project EQVEGAN, he is Secretary General of ISEKI Food Association and President of the European Alliance of Subject-Specific and Professional Accreditation and Quality Assurance (EASPA).

Prof. Željko Krznarić –

Diet or δίαιτα? Nutrition today

Prof. Željko Krznarić, MD, PhD, FEBGH, is Professor of Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology and Hepatology & Clinical Nutrition at the University of Zagreb, School of Medicine & Clinical Hospital Centre, Zagreb, Croatia. Professor Krznarić is also President of the Croatian Medical Association and President of the Croatian Society of Clinical Nutrition and the Croatian IBD Society.  His research interests include general gastroenterology, hepatology, inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal malignancy, and clinical nutrition. He has authored more than 200 articles, abstracts and book chapters.


PhD Gun Wirtanen –

Controlling bacterial spoilage in both vegan and meat based products

Dr. Gun Wirtanen is a senior advisor in food safety at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Finland. She has more than 30 years of experience in the field of microbial food safety, biofilm formation and removal on food processing surfaces, process hygiene, and hygienic design of food facilities and equipment. Dr. Wirtanen has published her research findings in approximately 490 papers e.g. original articles, audiovisual materials, peer-reviewed reviews, abstracts, book chapters, and edited books.

PhD Tanja Bogdanović –

Nano/Micro-plastics as emerging food contaminants: A challenge for food safety

Dr. Tanja Bogdanović is employed at the Croatian Veterinary Institute, Regional Veterinary Institute Split, Croatia. Since 2013, Dr. Bogdanović has been the head of the Laboratory for Analytical Chemistry and Residues. Her research interests include food chemistry and technology, sensory assessment as well as environmental and processing contaminants in the marine food web. From 2020 she is actively involved in the realization of H2020 PRIMA project Bio-protective cultures and bioactive extracts as sustainable combined strategies to improve the shelf-life of perishable Mediterranean food “BioProMedFood”.


Prof. Frédéric Debeaufort –

Recovery/valorization of agri-food waste and by-products for sustainable food packaging materials: the future or a utopia?

Prof. Frédéric Debeaufort is full professor of Food and Packaging Sciences and Technologies, Department of BioEngineering, Institute of Technology, University of Burgundy, Dijon, France. Prof. Debeaufort’s research focuses particularly on the transfer of volatile compounds such as water, non-condensable gases, aroma and active compounds, through food packaging plastics, biodegradable and especially edible and bioactive films and coatings. He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed international publications and has been involved in a number of national and international projects in scientific, educational and industrial contexts.

Prof. Nenad Bolf –

Process Analytical Technology for Continuous Process Monitoring and Control in Chemical, Biochemical and Food Industry

Prof. Nenad Bolf, PhD, is vice dean for management at the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology, University of Zagreb. He is an advisor for process control and control loop optimization in numerous projects with the process industry. For the last seven years, he was editor-in-chief of Chemistry In Industry magazine. Currently, he is principal investigator on the CrystAPC – Crystallization Advanced Process Control project founded by European Structural and Investment Funds.

Industry 4.0

Prof. Nedeljko Štefanić –

Development of smart food factories

Prof. Nedeljko Štefanić is a full professor at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture in Zagreb, in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management. In 2016, he led the team for the development of the National Platform for the Digitalization of Industry at the Ministry of Economy, Labor and Entrepreneurship. He has also developed the Culis system for digital and green transformation of enterprises and  developed the concept of smart factory. He is the author of more than over 85 scientific papers in the field of production management, Lean production, Six sigma and Industry 4.0.

PhD Jasmina Ranilović –

Closing the loop and decreasing vegetable by-products in food industry production

Assist. Prof. Jasmina Ranilovic, holds a bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Croatia. She has been working in the food industry of Podravka Inc., Croatia in more than 25 years, mostly in the field of food technology, quality control, regulatory affairs, nutrition science, innovation and leadership in relation with research & innovation & development. Currently, Dr. Ranilovic works as the Director of Projects and Applied Research in Podravka.

Smart Cro

Phd Nataša Šijaković-Vujičić –

Self-healing Organogelators of Edible Oil as Solid Fat Alternatives

Dr. Nataša Šijaković Vujičić is a scientist in the field of supramolecular organic chemistry at the Ruđer Bošković Institute (RBI), Zagreb, Croatia. She is the inventor of two granted patents on low molecular weight organic gelators of vegetable oil and w/o emulsions. She is a founder of the Oil Gels company. A combination of different factors, including regulations requiring the elimination of saturated fats, rising concerns among consumers health, about ecological damage caused by palm oil production, have together provided motivation for her to focus on innovative solutions.

Satellite symposium VERA JOHANIDES

Prof. Božidar Šantek –

Biotechnology in Croatia

Prof. Božidar Šantek, is a full professor in the Department of Biochemical Engineering, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Croatia. His research interests include sustainable production of biofuels and biochemicals with different working microorganisms, bioprocess sustainability assessment, bioprocess kinetics, mathematical modelling of different bioprocesses and scale-up, biological wastewater treatment and biogas production. He is a member of the editorial board of three scientific journals indexed in ISI Web of Science.

Prof. Želimir Kurtanjek –

Mathematical modelling at Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology: From regression to artificial intelligence

Prof. Želimir Kurtanjek is a retired professor of chemical engineering at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, Croatia. His research has been in the application of chemical engineering principles of mass and energy balances, statistical analysis and computer simulation for biotechnological processes. Recently, he is engaged in the application of artificial intelligence and causal analysis for the development of digital IV generation industrial processes.

PhD Anto Vrdoljak

Modern vaccines: State of the art and future trends

Dr. Anto Vrdoljak has 22 years of experience in product development and production of vaccines and other biologicals. At School of Medicine in Rijeka, Croatia he was involved in development and production of recombinant proteins and antigens. For the last decade within Genera d.d., part of Dechra Plc. group, he is focused on development and application of new animal vaccines. His current academic interests are viral animal vaccines, recombinant vaccines and vaccine`s regulatory framework.

Prof. Natalija Velić –

How biotechnology met circular economy at the Faculty of Food Technology Osijek

Prof. Natalija Velić is a full professor at the Faculty of Food Technology Osijek, J.J. Strossmayer University of Osijek, Croatia. Her research activities are mainly related to fermentation technology and application of biotechnological and engineering principles in environmental protection, especially research on lignocellulosic and microbial- based biosorbents for removal of pollutants from wastewater and biodegradation of synthetic dyes by fungi. Her scientific bibliography includes 105 articles, including 23 original scientific papers (WOS, CAB), 25 papers in proceedings and 6 chapters in books.

Participant are welcome to attend several additional events:

1. Round table: Importance of the Hygienic design in food production, supported by EHEDG

2. Round table: EQVegan