Mirko Betti

Associate Professor

Agricultural Life and Environmental Sciences

Agricultural Food and Nutritional Science

About Me


Doctorate, Food Science, University of Bologna, Italy


Immediately after obtaining a PhD in Food Science, I started to work for a major food company as a R&D manger. After two years in the food industry, I joined the Department of Agricultural Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta as an assistant professor and I am now a tenured associate professor. Since then, I lead a research program focusing on maximizing the utilization of meat and fish and processing by-products. The major goal of my program is the extraction, isolation and bioconversion of proteins and polysaccharides to create functional and bioactive food ingredients and natural health products. My major areas of expertise are protein chemistry and functionality, non-enzymatic browning of food - caramelization and Maillard reaction and chemistry of muscle foods.

I am a member of the editorial board of Food Chemistry (Elsevier) and an associate editor for Heliyon (Elsevier).


Research Expertise 

  • Protein chemistry and functionality such as protein extraction, isolation and structure function relationships, peptide chemistry and biological activity and glycochemistry.
  • Chemistry of muscle foods with a special focus on meat lipid chemistry.
  • Chemistry of glycosaminoglycans such as food grade extraction and purification.
  • Non-enzymatic browning - the Maillard and caramelization reactions.

Current research projects focus on:

  • Maximizing the value of poultry and marine processing by-products.
  • Enzymatic and non-enzymatic glycosylation of food proteins/peptides.
  • Bioactive sulfated polysaccharide: extraction, purification and bioconversion.
  • Chemistry and application of caramel.


Graduate Training Opportunities

Graduate students working with Dr. Betti typically have a background in food technology, food chemistry or meat science. Students receive valuable training due to the multidisciplinary nature of his program and the interaction with scientists from other disciplines. Team members have the opportunity to supervise undergraduate students and to present their research results at international conferences. An important asset that will be considered in order to work in Dr. Betti’s team is the predisposition to keep minds available for new food experiences/cultures.