Current team > Research Students


Rania Harastani MSc, BEng


Phone: 01509 225402

Expertise: Food Production Technologies, Nutrition, Food Chemical Analysis, Preservation and Microbiology.


Expertise: Food Production Technologies, Nutrition, Food Chemical Analysis, Preservation and Microbiology. 

Rania joined the Centre for SMART in November 2016 as a PhD research student to develop new sustainable food manufacturing models which meet certain consumers’ nutrition demands (e.g. diabetic and elderly).

Before joining the Centre for SMART, Rania was involved in studying the safety of novel food products and ready-to-eat meals in the Belgian retail market. Previous to that, in 2015 Rania obtained a European Master's degree in Food Science, Technology and Nutrition funded by the Erasmus Mundus Association where she studied advanced modules in food production, nutrition and global food issues. During her Master's study, she also conducted research in the domain of nutrition and epidemiology at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO). Rania also holds a Master's degree in Food Sciences from Damascus University and a Bachelor of Food Technology Engineering from Aleppo University, both located in Syria. In addition to her academic record, she worked for more than two years at the Syrian Ministry of Industry and was responsible for overseeing technical expertise related to the food industrial sector.

Broad interests and expertise
- Food manufacturing and preservation
- Food microbiology and gene technology 
- Chemical analysis
- Nutrition and epidemiology 
- Food quality control

External activities
- Reading
- Running and cycling 
- Enjoys cooking



The project focuses not only on identifying new sources of material but also reducing the demand on existing resources through a simultaneous consideration of food products, processing methods and supply networks. One of the key research questions is:

‘How can we design and prepare food products with high nutritional values using fewer raw materials?’ This research is more technology oriented, and seeks to explore how the food industry will shift and develop in the future from 'farm gate to fork'.

Broad Interests & Expertise

Research Interests & Activities

External Activities