Diana Baigts Allende is the new ERA Chair Holder in the Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, beginning early in 2023. She has international experience, having worked in academia and research in Spain, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Mexico, always in the broader field of nutrition, food science, food engineering, and food technology. Dr. Baigts has consistently led groundbreaking projects that have yielded tangible scientific results and commitment to create a positive impact at the intersection of academia, industry, and society. Her leadership has also been extended to her active involvement in fostering the growth of future professionals through her role in student mentoring and academic committees. Her research studies underutilized and more sustainable sources to produce added-value ingredients (mainly proteins) and food products directed to the food industry and vulnerable populations. Dr. Baigts work has not only resulted in granted patents but has also made a significant impact through numerous publications. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (US), a member of the National System of Researchers (SNI, Mexico), and a scientific reviewer (area VI) of the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACyT, Mex).
What made you accept the position of an ERA CHAIR HOLDER, what was your motivation?
I accepted the position because I recognized the high potential of this opportunity. The chance to lead a research team, generate knowledge and establish a solid group dedicated to applied sciences in food production aligns with my vocation. I believe this project will contribute to the scientific community and benefit society.
What is your research focus?
My research primarily focuses on food processing and producing highly nutritious and sustainable products for target populations. This includes exploring underutilized and wasted natural sources for obtaining ingredients (bio and techno-functional) for food production with enhanced nutritional value and quality.
What would you like to achieve at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague?
My primary goal at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague is to establish a research center that serves as a hub for cutting-edge research in food technology. I want to foster scientific excellence and increase interdisciplinary collaborations and international visibility.
You have experience with many countries around the world. How does the Czech Republic compare?
I have experience working with various countries; each nation has its unique strengths and challenges in the field of food technology. The Czech Republic offers a promising environment for research and development in agriculture and food technology due to its rich agricultural tradition and increasing focus on innovation. However, like many countries, it faces the global challenges of ensuring the sustainability of food safety and meeting a growing population’s demands. Collaboration with international partners will be crucial in addressing these challenges effectively.