Change of leadership at the Department of Beverage Research

After 28 years as Head of the Department of Wine Analysis and Beverage Research, Prof. Dr. Helmut Dietrich hands over the reins to PD Dr. Ralf Schweiggert, who took up his duties at our university on 1. September 2018.

35-year old Dr. Schweiggert obtained his PhD in 2013 following his Diplom degree in Food Technology at Hohenheim University, for which he received the top grade of “summa cum laude”. Since August 2016 he has worked in research and development in his position as Senior Scientist in the Global Department of Formulation and Application at DSM Nutritional Products in Kaiseraugst (Switzerland).

In January 2017 this outstanding food scientist completed his postdoctoral degree (Habilitation) in “plant food technology and analysis” at Hohenheim University. His research focussed on sourcing new plant-based raw materials for combating vitamin A deficiency in developing countries and investigating the reasons for differences in the absorption of carotenoids when eating different types of fruits and vegetables, in comparison with isolated carotenoids in different formulations. He has won several prestigious prizes for his fundamental work, including – in 2012 – the BGS research advancement award and – in 2014 – the DGQ advancement award and the Professor Wild award.

As Prof. Dr. Hans Reiner Schultz explains, the name of the new W3-professorship has been changed from “Wine Analysis and Beverage Research” to “Analysis and Technology of Plant-Based Foods – Focus on Beverages”, thus significantly expanding its content. “We want to put ourselves on a good footing for the future, particularly in the area of plant-based raw materials for non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, and are therefore delighted to welcome Prof. Dr. Ralf Schweiggert – an experienced expert on industrial beverage development, international project management and higher education cooperations – on board the “Geisenheim boat”, says the University President.

Over 80 publications in the most eminent scientific journals and the co-authorship of a standard work on the use of vegetable pigments for natural food coloring testify to his creativity and productivity. Thanks to his internationally recognized expertise and his holistic approach to research, which includes everything from the analytical characterisation of raw plant materials and their technological processing to establishing the nutritional profile of plant-based foods, he will be a globally sought-after cooperation partner and academic teacher far beyond the beverages sector.

Hochschule Geisenheim University looks forward to working together with Prof. Dr. Ralf Schweiggert and we wish him every success for the future!

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