“Future goes to forest” event @ThinkCorner

#TulevaisuusMeneeMetsään #ThinkCorner #Tiedekulma

Finnish market economy, stress relief, buildings, and hemicellulose-stabilized salad dressings – what do these four have in common? The answer is Finnish forests: In history, Finnish forests developed our welfare. It is also scientifically shown that walking in the forest decreases blood pressure. Looking into future: Finnish forests provide construction materials for modern, wooden city apartment buildings.

Wood-based hemicelluloses are produced as a side streams of forestry industry and can be used as emulsifiers or substitute plastics in packaging, and they have major prospects in novel products in different industrial fields. These topics and much more were discussed at the “Future goes to forest” event at the University of Helsinki Think Corner, 7th November 2017. Panellists Niklas Jensen-Eriksen, Marko Leppänen, Kirsi Mikkonen, and Ritva Toivonen valued the idea of forests as sustainable source of welfare.

Hemicelluloses were highlighted as a novel ingredient for packaging films and emulsifiers, obtained from renewable natural resources and potentially used in food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, and chemicals. The panellists emphasized that developing innovations is based on years of basic research. After the panel discussion Kirsi Mikkonen showed samples of hemicellulose-based emulsions to the active audience.

Recording of the event (in Finnish) is found at:


Greetings from the historic town of Tulln!

During November 2017, doctoral student Mamata Bhattarai is on a 4-week research visit at the Division of Chemistry of Renewable Resources, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Austria. She works in Campus Tulln, which is located 27 km from Vienna.
Mamata’s research focuses on understanding the associative behavior of spruce galactoglucomannans – spruce gum – and their macromolecular properties in emulsions. The challenge is to characterize heterogeneous galactoglucomannan assemblies that contain phenolic residues.
In BOKU, Mamata learns and develops a method to characterize these assemblies and studies their dynamics over time.