Mahtab Shoukat


"My research interest is to explore the interaction of iron and microorganisms in cheese matrix. Moreover, I would like to identify the key biomarkers in the cheese ripening process by using advanced analytical techniques."

Mahtab Shoukat

“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, I shall move the World” Archimedes

My name is Mahtab Shoukat and I'm from Pakistan. I earned my Bachelors in Food Science & Technology with distinction (Gold Medal) from the National Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFSAT) the University of Agriculture, Pakistan. Having a revolutionary aspiration along with the high motivation to contribute to Food Science, I won one of the highly competitive Erasmus Mundus Master Scholarship in Food Innovation and Product Design (FIPDes). In this European master program, I studied in 3 different universities i.e., AgroParisTech, (Université Paris-Saclay) France, Technological University Dublin (TUD) Ireland France, University of Naples Federico II (UNINA) Italy.

During my Erasmus Mundus master’s, I realized that microbiological quality is one of the most challenging tasks to optimize the new food products. This raised my interest to move towards a Food Microbiology specialization. I developed my eventual goals to serve as a bridge between academia and industry to transfer and implement the new findings with ultimate relief to society. I found the E-MUSE Marie Skłodowska-Curie project is an ideal opportunity to lead towards my interests and career goals. Being a part of this project, I’m excited to contribute through innovative and impactful research output.

In E-MUSE, I represent an ESR-10. The objective of my project is to understand the effect of iron on the cheese ecosystem. Iron is used by most organisms for its ability to transfer electrons in the range of physiological redox potentials. Iron in cheese is linked to various components such as proteins, carbohydrates, or citrate and its bioavailability is low. I will collect the dynamic during the ripening process of a model cheese produced with/without iron supplementation. The main analyses in this project are microbiological, physiochemical, metabolomics, volatilomics, transcriptomics, meta-transcriptomic, and sensory analyses.

Besides my project and professional background, I actively like to read and write blogs on various topics. Especially, I like to read about innovative and sustainable advancements. In fact, I'm also a freelancer (food scientist) that provides innovative solutions and ideas for innovative food products development. In terms of hobbies, I love to do cycling.

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