Contact Dr Maria Anastasiadi

Areas of expertise

Background

Dr Maria Anastasiadi graduated from the University of Crete with a degree in Chemistry where she specialised in water analysis using ion chromatography.

She then studied for an MSc in Food Science and Technology at the Agricultural University of Athens with an emphasis on Food Microbiology and Predictive Modelling. 

She later obtained a PhD in Plant Science and Analytical Chemistry from the same institute. Her PhD was on the biochemical and chemometric analysis of Greek wines and grapes with respect to their phenolic content and antioxidant properties. She specialised in a wide range of laboratory and data analysis techniques including HPLC-DAD, LC/MS, and Multivariate Analysis.

She has also completed a graduate certificate in Statistics at the University of Sheffield and a BBSRC Research Community Course in Systems Training in Maths Informatics and Computational Biology.

She has recently completed a sponsored part-time MSc in Applied Bioinformatics at Cranfield University.

 Previous job experience include the role of Application Chemist at the Benaki Phytopathological Institute in Athens, Greece and R&D Plant Scientist at Unilever R&D, UK.


Current activities

Dr Anastasiadi’s research focuses on characterising the biochemical profile of a wide range of fresh produce as this is influenced by genetic makeup, environmental conditions and agricultural practices as well as postharvest treatments and storage conditions. This involves the applications of a combination of laboratory techniques such as HPLC, LC/MS and GC/MS to capture a wide variety of key metabolites related to quality, health promoting properties, stress responses and flavour characteristics. Furthermore, a variety of in silico methods are applied, including statistically based multivariate analysis and Machine Learning techniques, with the aim to reveal hidden patterns in multivariate and high throughput datasets and construct predictive physiological and temporal models to aid the industry to improve fresh produce quality and minimise waste. Other applications include informing new breeding programmes for the selection of cultivars with enhanced health promoting properties and desirable quality traits and the development of new plant-based food products naturally rich in health promoting phytonutrients. 

Projects Dr Anastasiadi is currently working on include:

Extension of UK asparagus season using dynamically controlled atmosphere. The project is seeking to understand and control the factors which compromise the quality and acceptability of English-grown asparagus.

Sponsor: Innovate UK, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Partners: Cobrey Farms, International Controlled Atmosphere (ICA).

Keeping UK-grown apples full of flavour for longer. The aim of this project is to extend the ‘flavour-life’ of UK apples, by up to six weeks, through employing state-of-the-art multiwavelength photo-sensors allied to improved postharvest storage.

Sponsor: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Innovate UK, Partners: Avalon Produce Ltd, Richard Hochfeld Ltd, Chelsea Technologies Group Ltd, Greenyard Fresh UK Ltd and Tesco Stores Ltd.

Clients

Unilever

Cobrey Farms

BBSRC

UK Innovate

Avalon Produce Ltd,

Richard Hochfeld Ltd,

Greenyard Fresh UK Ltd

Publications

Articles In Journals