Harald Perten Prize 2020 to Prof. Dr. Christophe Courtin

The Harald Perten Prize is intended to recognize and reward outstanding achievements in science, research, teaching or transmission of knowledge which serve the cereal sciences and technology, primarily recognizing practical applications in the areas of starch, gluten and enzymes.

The this year's Harald Perten Prize Awardee is Christophe Courtin, KU Leuven, Belgium and will be officially announced at the ICBC2020 Online Conference in March 2021.

Christophe Courtin is full professor of Food Biochemistry at the Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry at KU Leuven and prior to that was Head, Centre of Food and Microbial Technology, KU Leuven from 2013-2017, and Vice dean, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, KU Leuven 2015-2019. 

Since 1998, Christophe Courtin has published over 285 peer reviewed papers, and his papers have been cited over 9000 times. His teaching and leadership roles are exemplary having to date successfully (co-)supervised 33 PhD students and (co-)supervises 11.  Anyone who has listened to any of Christoph’s keynote addresses will attest to his rare ability to present complex subjects in a clear and understandable manner.

Dr Courtin’s research focuses on cereal starch and non-starch carbohydrates and dietary fiber, the enzymes that degrade them and yeast in cereal processing. Dietary fibres under study are arabinoxylans, arabinoxylan-oligosaccharides, fructans and cereal bran, and more recently cellulose and beta-glucan. The emphasis is on basic understanding of the structure and properties of these carbohydrates (as individual molecules and as components of complex 3D structures) as well as on their technological and health functionality in cereal based processes and products, using, amongst others, molecular biology as a tool.

He has been Invited to present at numerous internationally established conferences including the Whole Grain Summit, Vienna, 2017,  Glycoscience Tools for Biotechnology and Bioenergy, BBSRC, Cambridge, 2017,  15th ICC Cereal and Bread Congress, Istanbul, 2016, Invited lectures at AACC International Annual meetings from 2010 to 2019, and the W.F. Geddes Memorial Lectureship Award lecture, Minneapolis, 2010.

In summary therefore, Christophe Courtin is an exceptional cereal scientist, teacher and researcher who is a worthy recipient of the Harald Perten Prize for 2020.