Biography Paula Varela-Tomasco
I am senior researcher in Sensory and Consumer Science at Nofima and Professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. My research has focused on the exploration of new methodologies for understanding consumers. I have authored more than 100 articles in international journals, various book chapters and co-authored four books on methodological aspects of consumer research, as “Novel Techniques in Sensory Characterization and Consumer Profiling” and “Methods in consumer research”.
I am passionate about methodological aspects of research with special populations (children, elderly, food sub-cultures) at the light of societal issues related to food behaviour, as well as consumer involvement in the green shift, aiming to support the transition to healthier and more sustainable diets.
I lead the EU project Edulia, a multidisciplinary MSCA training network, looking into bringing down barriers to children healthy eating, training a new generation of researchers in Europe www.edulia.eu
Education and past professional experience
Food Engineer from Universidad de la República (Uruguay) and PhD from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Spain). With wide experience in academic and industrial research, my past positions include lecturer in the Universidad de la República in Uruguay, pre- and post-doctoral researcher in the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology in Valencia, Spain, and Senior Sensory and Consumer Scientist in Kraft Foods UK R&D.
Paula Varela-Tomasco has 78 publications at Nofima:
1. April 2021 – 31. March 2024
For older adults, undernutrition can be a serious health problem. EAT4AGE will prevent undernutrition and avoid impaired muscle function by investigating how age-related changes, such as decline in digestive functions, oral processing, sensory perception, and appetite, can be overcome.
1. January 2021 – 31. December 2024
The main objective of this research program is to contribute to research-driven innovation in the Norwegian food industry in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals through understanding innovation processes, consumers, and product and process interactions.
1. November 2020 – 31. October 2028
Digital Food Quality (short named DigiFoods) is a centre for research-based innovation (SFI) with the purpose of developing smart sensor solutions for food quality assessment directly in the processing lines, throughout the food value chains. The obtained food quality information will be used for optimization of both processes and value chains and make the food industry more efficient and sustainable.
1. March 2019 – 28. February 2023
Identify and validate candidate genes for CMS resistance in Atlantic salmon through state-of-the-art gene editing.
1. February 2018 – 31. December 2022
Edulia responds to the urgent need of the EU society to find new ways to tackle the escalating issue of obesity, through promoting healthier eating from childhood, within the context of choice. Based on the relations between sensory perception, pleasure, food choice and food behaviour, the project will look for new approaches to drive children to like and actively choose healthy foods, developing healthier dietary habits.
1. January 2018 – 1. January 2021
We want everyone to be able to eat good, healthy food – no matter what their situation.
1. March 2017 – 28. April 2021
FoodProFuture aims to develop the necessary knowledge platform for optimal production and utilization of Norwegian plant resources into tasty, healthy and attractive plant-based food products with high protein content.
1. January 2016 – 30. April 2020
The consumption of vegetables has increased over the last years, but the sales of cruciferous vegetables (Brassica, cabbages) has been stagnant. Increased awareness of taste can increase sale of cabbage.
1. January 2016 – 31. December 2022
With the use of modern, research-based process technology and expertise, unused or under utilized biomass of marine or terrestrial origin can be used for new, marketable products. We coordinate, develop and increase Nofima’s total expertise related to the future of sustainable protein production. Peptek is a strategic research initiative focused on sustainability, total utilization, food safety and future food security.
1. January 2014 – 31. December 2017
There is a large potential for a better health in the population by improving diet and dietary behavior. It is particularly important to facilitate a healthy and varied diet for children and adolescents, as food habits and behaviors are established at an early age.