Zijin Zhou


Zijin (Cecelia) Zhou has years of experience in food microbiology regarding the decontamination of foodborne pathogens in a wide range of products (minimally processed foods, dry ingredients, frozen foods, confectionery, pet food, infant formula, etc.).
Her current project is funded by the industrial research fund (IOF) of Ghent University, which aims to establish the scientific and technical basis for an innovative product that can greatly facilitate the microbial shelf-life and stability tests in food industry and allied sectors.

She obtained her Bachelor degree in Food Quality and Safety at China Agricultural University in 2012.

Afterwards, she continued her studies at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, United States, where she obtained her Master degree in Food Safety and Technology.

During the same period of her Master studies, she worked as a trainee for one year (July 2014-July 2015) at Nestlé Research in Lausanne, Switzerland. Since September 2015, she started to work on a collaborated PhD project between Ghent University and Nestec in the Food Microbiology & Food Preservation research unit.

She obtained her PhD in May 2019, entitled ‘Intervention strategies to improve the microbial safety of minimally processed berries, herbs and spices’.

Her researches focus on preservation techniques to improve the microbial safety and quality of food products with expertise on the use of surrogate microorganisms in challenge tests to assess or validate the sufficiency of food production processes and food storage conditions.

Major projects that she has worked in the past include,

  •   Control the risk of pathogens in mildly processed raw materials (2015-2019).
  •   Thermal inactivation kinetics of pathogens and surrogates in selected low moisture foods (2014-2015).
  •   USDA-NIFA Food Virology Collaborative, Norovirus Collaborative for Outreach, Research, and Education (NoroCORE, 2012-2014).



She has presented her research in various international conferences and has been an active member in the Institute of Food Technologists and the International Association of Food Protection.


Zijin Zhou