The last CCC Spring Symposium

The last, since CCC merged into Next Food Collective in May 2023. 


On June 1, 2023 the 2023 CCC (CarbohydrateCompetenceCenter)  spring symposium took place in Groningen. As usual, the event attracted the participation of many researchers and scientists from various companies and universities and even some international attendees.  

Insightful presentations

In the morning Prof. dr. Iris Sommer from UMCG gave a very insightful keynote presentation with the title: “Nutritional Psychiatry; an apple a day keeps the psychiatrist away”. While in the afternoon Prof. dr. Bjørn Christensen from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology gave an interesting keynote talk titled: “Alginates: structure, properties and novel applications”. 

During both the morning and afternoon sessions there was some time reserved for update stories of three former CCC PhD candidates: Dr. ir. Sonja de Vries, Associate Professor at the Animal Nutrition Group of Wageningen UR, Dr. Lingmin Tian, Associate Professor in the Department of Food Science and Engineering at Jinan University in Guangzhou China and Dr. Neha Sahasrabudhe, Business developer at TU Delft. 

During the break there was time for poster pitches and sessions where the researchers from the CarboBiotics, CarboBased and CarboSupport programs presented their latest results.  

Introducing Next Food Collective

After the lunch break, Marian Geluk presented the newly founded Next Food Collective. This was an important moment as the Carbohydrate Competence Center (CCC) has merged with TiFN, the Protein Competence Center (PCC), and the Sustainable Food Initiative (SFI) to form Next Food Collective.  

Marian Geluk invited the public to suggest and vote for the best practices of CCC that Next Food Collective should consider. Bianca Martens of Agrifirm won the vote (and a Next Blond beer) with her suggestion to continue to involve & build strong networks amongst the young generations working at the partners of Next Food Collective. 

Price winner: Laura Boetje

At the end of the day, the Rudy Rabbinge Prize was awarded to the best poster presenter. Laura Boetje, a PhD student of the Macromolecular Chemistry and New Polymeric Materials group of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, won this Rudy Rabbinge Award for her poster entitled “Fully biobased crosslinked starch oleate films”. In her research Laura explores the use of starch esterification with unsaturated fatty acids as a promising alternative to petroleum-based plastics. She investigates various synthetic strategies and post-modification techniques to optimize the material properties of starch esters. Her research provides valuable insights into the structure-property relationship of these esters and their potential applications in packaging and mulch films. Overall, her PhD thesis will contribute to the advancement of biobased materials and their practical implications. Congratulations! 


The day was closed with drinks and bites which offered a great opportunity to network and socialize with fellow carbohydrate enthusiasts. This was the last CCC symposium in its current form. As CCC is now part of Next Food Collective new events will be organized and planned with the new collective.