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ISO-FOOD’s Barbara Koroušić Seljak wins The Young Academy Mentor of the Year Award 2018

We would like to offer a big “Congratulations!” to Prof Barbara Koroušić Seljak this year’s The Young Academy of Slovenia Mentor of the Year Award 2018 winner.

Prof Barbara Koroušić Seljak from the Computer Sciences Department, Jožef Stefan Institute collaborates closely with the Department of Environmental Sciences and is a valued member of the ISO-FOOD ERA Chair Team. Prof Barbara Koroušić Seljak was mentor to ISO-FOOD’s doctoral student Tome Eftimov who in January 2018 defended his thesis entitled “Statistical data analysis and natural language processing for nutrition science”.

The Young Academy of Slovenia Mentor of the Year Award 2018 awards recognizes outstanding mentors who have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to student success and development. A good mentor is one who effectively advises, guides, and inspires his/her students throughout their research training, while helping them to navigate obstacles, whether personal, professional, or academic. This year’s deserved winner is Barbara Koroušić Seljak from the Computer Sciences Department, Jožef Stefan Institute. Prof Barbara Koroušić Seljak works closely with of the Department of Environmental Sciences, a valued member of ERA Chair ISO-FOOD Team and mentor to Dr Tome Eftimov who as an ISO-FOOD funded doctoral student in January 2018 successfully defended his thesis entitled “Statistical data analysis and natural language processing for nutrition science”. Tome Eftimov currently works as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Population Health Sciences, Stanford University, USA. As well as an outstanding mentor, Prof Barbara Koroušić Seljak is an accomplished researcher in her own right, and has made significant contributions in real-time and embedded computer systems and statistics, including topics such as evolutionary computation, natural language processing, machine learning, and data analysis in relation to public and clinical nutrition, and nutrition science.


1st ISO-FOOD International Symposium on Isotopic and Other Techniques in Food Safety and Quality

The desire for improved food safety, quality and traceability by governments and consumers alike is driving demand for more and better information about the food we eat, from where it is sourced and how it is produced, its quality, and its impact on health and on the environment. Nevertheless, food fraud and recalls of food items due to mislabelling or contamination are commonplace, and experts know that these reported cases are just the tip of the iceberg. Maintaining and assuring the integrity of food is hugely important and this in turn is resulting in the development of innovative and cutting-edge analytical approaches. This symposium brings together an interdisciplinary array of researchers, scientists, policy makers, and stakeholders to present advances in isotopic and chemical methods, and to foster a lively and rewarding exchange of ideas and information. We warmly welcome prospective authors to submit new research papers and to share their valuable experience with scientists and scholars from around the world.

– Food authenticity and traceability
– Food safety and quality
– Metrology in food
– Food databases and semantics
– Nanomaterials and nanotechnology
– Foodomics

More information: http://iso-food.academicevent.net/

FOOD CHEMISTRY: ISO-FOOD: Isotopic techniques in food safety, quality and traceability


ISO-FOOD: Isotopic techniques in food safety, quality and traceability

Virtual Special Issue

  • Guest Editors

    The past few years has seen a resurgence in the need for and development of new methods and techniques for assuring the quality and safety of food. Much of this comes on the back of major food scandals, continued globalisation and complexity of the food supply chain, new threats (e.g., nanotechnology), advances in instrumentation (especially Mass Spectrometry) and a shifting definition of how we define food quality. The ERA Chair ISO-FOOD as guest editor of this special issue invites people to submit original research and critical reviews on the use of isotopic techniques relating to food safety and quality. Although ISO-FOOD has a bias towards the use of Isotopes in authenticity and traceability we will consider submissions on essential and nonessential elements and their speciation, organic contaminant and important bioactive compounds in food and articles on the exploitation of big data in relation to food chemistry as long as they conform to the scope of FOOD Chemistry.

    Interests: Isotopic techniques; Authenticity; Adulteration; Traceability; Safety, Mass spectrometry, NMR techniques; Chemometrics, Modeling

    Manuscript Preparation and Submission

    All manuscripts must be submitted through the online submission system (EES) of Food Chemistry. To ensure that all manuscripts are correctly identified for inclusion into the special issue, it is important to select “VSI: ISO-FOOD” when you reach the “Article Type” step in the submission process. Please refer to the journal’s Guide for Authors for specific advice on how to prepare a paper (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodchem). All papers will be evaluated by the Guest Editors and then reviewed by at least two reviewers. Accepted papers are published online individually as ‘Articles in Press’ after final acceptance, and before final print publication.

    Special issue Timelines

    • • January 1, 2018: EES will be open for submission
    • • April 30, 2018: Deadline for submission
    • • January 2018 – November 2018: Period of peer-review process

    For Interactive tutorials, EES User Guide for Author:



Tome Eftimov defended his PhD Thesis

IMG_9942On 31.01.2018, Tome Eftimov successfully defended his PhD thesis. His work entitled “Statistical data analysis and natural language processing for nutrition science” was conducted under the supervision of Assist Prof Barbara Koroušić Seljak from the Computer Systems Department, Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI) as part of the ERA-Chair ISO-FOOD project. The thesis was evaluated by the examiners: Prof Nada Lavrač from the Department of Knowledge Technologies, JSI, Prof Sophia Ananiadou from the School of Computer Science, University of Manchester and the UK Centre for Text Mining,  and Prof Peter Korošec from the Computer Systems Department, JSI.

If you are interested in Tome’s research results, you can follow him on ResearchGate.

Our congratulations!



Third Level Programme in Food science

Thinking about your post-graduate study in food science?

The International Postgraduate School Jožef Stefan together with the Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana offers an unique range of courses in aspects of food safety, quality and traceability.

Courses are open to all III level students enrolled in either the Ecotechnology Programme at the Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School and/or in the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Food Science Programme in Biosciences at the University of Ljubljana.


Courses on offer:

Jožef Stefan Post graduate School

Food Traceability and Authenticity (10 credits)

Food Chemical Safety – inorganic, organic contaminants, nanoparticles (10 credits)

Foodomics (5 credits)

Chemical and food toxicology (5 credits)

Sensor systems (5 credits)


Food Science Programme at the Biotechnical faculty, University of Ljubljana

Physical and Biochemical methods (5 credits)

Food quality and safety (10 credits)

Combining sensoric and instrumental methods (5 credits)

Modern technologies for animal based food production (5 credits)

Modern technologies for plant based food production (5 credits)


For more information and to enroll, visit www.mps.si

Email info@mps.si, call +386 1 477 31 00


Contact – mag. Vesna Ješe Janežič

+386 1 320 30 27



Anja Mahne Opatić received the Best Poster Award at the 5th MS Food DAY

The MS Food DAY is a biannual conference focused on all topics related to the use, methods and applications of mass spectrometry in food and was this year supported by the MASSTWIN project. It was held on 11 – 13 October in Bologna (Italy). Anja’s poster entitled “A preliminary traceability model for tomato using analysis of stable isotopes, elemental content and chemical markers” was selected by the jury as the best one among 73 presentations.

Defence of the Master Thesis of Anja Drame

Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School invites to the Defence of the Master Thesis of Anja Drame entitled: Colorimetric assay for TiO2 nanoparticles detection in complex matrices as food samples. The Defence is scheduled for Monday, September 11th, 2017, at 10:00 at the IPS Lecture Room.

Three Post Doctoral Research Fellowships in food safety and authenticity

Three Post Doctoral Fellowships are available at Slovenia’s leading research institute Jožef Stefan Institute. The institute is looking to strengthen its research excellence in relation to food safety, authenticity and traceability. Fellowships are available in the following fields:

1) Organic analysis

2) Stable Isotope analysis

3) Metrology

Job description

The selected candidates will combine laboratory experiments and analytical measurements in the field of food research. The new team members will work within a dynamic and interdisciplinary international research environment, with the possibility to learn new techniques and skills. He/she is expected to critically evaluate and improve the approach, where appropriate, providing opportunity for putting their own stamp on the research.

Profile and requirements

  • You hold (or obtain during the application period) a doctoral degree (PhD) in Chemistry (Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Food-Chemistry, Bio-chemistry, Bio-engineering (Chemistry), and Environmental Science;
  • You are familiar with concepts related to food sample preparation and state-of–the-art analytical instrumentation including GC, LC hyphenated with tandem and high resolution MS, IRMS, GC‑C‑IRMS, ICP-MS depending on position applied for;
  • You are highly motivated to work in an international, dynamic environment;
  • You have good English communication writing and presentation skills;
  • You are quality-oriented and creative and have demonstrated organization skills;
  • A record of publications in quality, peer-reviewed journals in the field of food/organic/analytical/environmental chemistry.

We offer

Tenure: A position at the postdoctoral level (max 2 years) open to international candidates for an initial one-year fixed-term contract, extendable with additional year after positive evaluation. The positions are available immediately.

Salary: According to institute standard remuneration rates, funded through the ISO-FOOD ERA Chair for isotopic techniques in food quality, safety and traceability.

How to apply?

  • Applicants must state which position they are applying for and send the following supporting documents: motivation letter, updated CV, and two letters of recommendation to erachair@isofood.eu until 25.5.2017.
  • For questions about the profile and the job description, please contact ERA Chair Holder Dr David Heath (erachair@isofood.eu).

The Jožef Stefan Institute is as an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that fosters collaborative scientific discovery and innovation.


Bisphenols in Honey

Bisphenol A (known as BPA) is a synthetic organic compound found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics have many applications including in the food industry in water bottles, food-storage containers, and plastic tableware. Epoxy lacquers are used as linings in many metal products such as food can, bottle tops, lids of glass jars for baby food, pickles, jam, honey, salsa and other condiments, aerosol cans for whipped toppings and non-stick sprays, bottles and tins of cooking oil, aluminium beverage cans, metal coffee cans and beer kegs. When taking into consideration the myriad of non-food applications, it is no wonder that BPA has become ubiquitous in modern-day life and impossible to avoid. The cause for concern is that BPA is a known endocrine disruptor and years of animal testing has linked BPA with neurological and behavioural disorders, reproductive disorders such early onset of puberty and a rise in prostate and breast cancer, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes. As a precaution, the EU in 2012 banned its application in baby bottles and sippy cups although in 2015 the EU rescinded the ban after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) re-evaluated BPA exposure and toxicity. Several EU nation states, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France and Sweden, despite the EFSA ruling, continue to regulate BPA more strictly. The food industry has responded to consumer concerns and “BPA-free” products are commonplace. Despite this, “BPA free” does not mean “bisphenol-free”. Many alternatives to BPA, such as BPS and other similar compounds found in plastics have just as potent, if not more potent, hormone mimicking effects as BPA and scientists are only now beginning to investigate the risk posed by these compounds. In a new study by Česen et al., (2016), published in the journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, the authors examine the occurrence of bisphenols and related compounds in honey and their migration from selected food contact materials. The authors chose honey because it is a highly prized food commodity, cherished for its quality, purity and taste. The authors also noted how honey comes in many different types of packaging, which could put the honey at risk from potentially harmful migrating compounds. Their paper describes the development of a single method to analyse nine bisphenols (BPA, BPAF, BPAP, BPB, BPC, BPE, BPF, BPS, and BPZ) and related compounds (4-cumylphenol and dihydroxybenzophenone) in honey samples and food simulant. The authors used their method to analyse honey from European and non-European countries and food simulant stored in different packaging. The majority of samples contained bisphenol residues and the highest number of bisphenol compounds determined in any one sample was four. Only BPA and BPAF were found during migration tests and in glass jars with epoxy lined metal lids and in laminated sachets. Based on the exposure from observed maximum levels of BPA in honey, there is little risk to consumer health (exposure < TDI 4 μg/kg bw/day), although the authors’ emphasise that cumulative health effects of the identified bisphenols should be further explored. The authors also show how some of the contamination derives from a source other than the final packaging. Retailers could use this data to pass on recommendations to honey producers with respect to the use of suitable food contact materials along the honey value chain.