The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France. The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.
Work environment, missions and activities
This position is part of the European project « FAIRCHAIN ». The work will be carried out at the UMR INRAE « Science & Technology of Milk and Eggs » (STLO) located in Rennes and in collaboration with producers of the dairy and fruit & vegetable sectors. The UMR STLO research team works on biodiversity and functional genomics of bacteria of food interest, mainly in relation with production of fermented foods. FAIRCHAIN addresses the growing need for a significant transformation of current food systems by developing competitive intermediate food chain alternatives adapted to small and mid-sized actors. The goal of the FAIRCHAIN European project is to test, pilot and demonstrate how recently developed technological, organisational and social innovations, enable small and mid-sized actors to scale-up and expand the production of affordable nutritious food in competitive intermediate food value chains. Position description: Fermentation is a sustainable way to improve the shelf-life and nutritional value of raw materials. The choice of bacteria and/or yeast to be implemented plays a central role in product-manufacturing and is determinant for the characteristics of the final fermented products. In this project, fermentation will be implemented to ferment a dairy co-product of cheese manufacture, the whey.
The aim is to valorise this whey produced by small dairy plants by producing a beverage, sparkling or not. The aim of the position will be (i) to provide microbial solutions to ferment whey and produce attractive beverages (ii) to identify key microbes and key metabolic functions dispensable to a successful fermentation of whey. The work will be divided into different tasks: 1. Analysis of the diversity of composition of wheys provided by cheese producers, and identify the bottlenecks that could impair the fermentation. 2. Selection of micro-organisms able to ferment whey, based on bibliographic data and other databases. 3. Identification of microbial resources that will meet specific criteria in terms of acidification and aromatic properties. Determine the sanitary quality of identified microorganisms (i.e. taxonomy, pathogenicity, antibiotic resistance profiles, undesirable metabolite production…) by different methods (whole genome sequencing, biochemical analysis for example) 4. Implementation of the selected microorganisms in fermentation models (identification of potential interactions between microorganisms, identification of compounds of interest…), During this project, the candidate will be involved in collaborations between scientific partners and small and mid-sized dairy plants partners.
Training and skills
The candidate must have strong scientific competences in microbiology, biochemistry and molecular biology (PhD or Engineering degree in microbiology) as well as solid English skills. The person should be a team player to easily integrate into the research team and also be autonomous and creative. Please provide a detailed resume along with 2 references (names, position and contact information) as well as your MSc degree grades (equivalent to L3, M1 and M2) and any English tests (TOEIC, CLES etc.).
INRAE's life quality
By joining our teams, you benefit from:
- 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
- parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: training, career advise;
- social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
- holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
- sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.