Contact Dr Natalia Falagan Sama

Areas of expertise

  • Food Quality
  • Food Safety


Natalia graduated from the University of Valencia (Spain) as an Agricultural Engineer and then studied for an MSc in Advanced Techniques in Agricultural and Food Research and Development at University of Cartagena (UPCT, Spain). She obtained her PhD in Food Engineering in 2015 from UPCT, conducting her research in two centres of excellence: University of California (Davis, USA) and Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA, Bordeaux, France). She joined the Plant Science Laboratory at Cranfield in 2016 and is now Senior Lecturer in Food Science and Technology.

Current activities

Natalia is driven by the need to reduce food waste and improve food security; while maintaining the quality and safety of fresh produce across the supply chain. She investigates the underlying ripening and senescence mechanisms of fruit and vegetables and develops innovative strategies for postharvest management. Natalia has international experience in food production systems through collaboration with private companies and government funded research. She publishes her work in peer-reviewed journals focusing on postharvest biology, and sustainable technology and packaging.

Recent projects include: Next generation modified atmosphere materials to extend farm storage and reduce waste (BBSRC), Postharvest technology and improved agricultural practice to reduce avocado waste in Mexico (QR GCRF) and Rurban Revolution (Global Food Security's Resilience of the UK Food System Programme, with support from BBSRC, ESRC, NERC and the Scottish Government).

Natalia teaches on the Food Systems and Management and Future Food Sustainability MSc programmes and is the module leader of Postharvest Technology. She is also a STEM ambassador, bringing science and technology to schools.

She is a Member of the Royal Society of Biology, Member of the Institute of Agricultural Engineers, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Member of the Scientific Advisory Committees in the Food Standards Agency. Natalia sits on the Cold-Chain working group for the Cool Coalition and the National Technical Advisory committee for the African Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold Chain (ACES). In 2021, Natalia has won the 'Top 50 Women in Engineering: Engineering Heroes' award in 2021 and a medal awarded by the Royal Academy of Engineering (Spain) in 2022 for her work towards food loss and waste reduction. In 2023, she was selected 'Best Research Supervisor' at Cranfield University in the Student Choice Awards.


World Bank Group

Johnson Matthey

Orchard House Foods

AMC Group


Innovate UK


Department of International Trade



Blue Skies


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers