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Havupuun oksia ja kemiallinen kaavakuva.

8th Karelia Symposium: Food from Wood

The University of Eastern Finland, together with Teollisuusneuvos Heikki Väänänen Fund, will organise the 8th Karelia Symposium under the theme “Food from Wood”. The symposium will take place at Joensuu Science Park, in the Temple of Challenge, on 25 April 2023.

The programme features topical sessions on how wood components and the wood industry’s side streams could provide raw material for producing food ingredients for humans and animals. Could wood-based materials also be used as packaging material for food?

“The development of new wood-based product innovations is an essential part of Finland’s internationally recognised expertise in this field,” Professor of Wood Materials Science Ossi Turunen says.

“Innovation is heavily reliant on basic and applied research, which is being carried out across Finland in relation to wood, wood structure and the utilisation of wood components.”

According to Turunen, this year's theme continues a series of wood-themed symposia and offers an increasingly comprehensive view of the innovation potential wood has as providing food ingredients.

“Surprisingly, wood-derived components can find applications in many food products,” he says.

The symposium brings together Finland’s leading experts in the field. With its research addressing food products, the University of Eastern Finland is involved in the development of the relevant themes.

“The expertise of our university is linked to both wood materials science and health sciences. The health effects of new food components can be studied in an in vitro model of gastrointestinal events, which we have been developing together with domestic and international partners for a few years already,” Professor of Food and Health Marjukka Kolehmainen says.

“This is how a multidisciplinary approach opens up new avenues for new applications and innovations that support health and well-being.”

The 2023 grants of the Teollisuusneuvos Heikki Väänänen Fund will be announced at the symposium. The grants are intended for wood science research at the University of Eastern Finland.  The symposium, held in English, is open to all and free of charge. 

For further information, please contact: Professor of Wood Materials Science Ossi Turunen, tel. +358 50 342 5151, ossi.turunen(at)

Sign up for the event by 18th April!


Food from Wood


8.30 – 9.00 Registration
9.00 – 9.10 Academic Rector Tapio Määttä, Opening of the Symposium

Session 1, Chair Ossi Turunen

9.10 – 9.45 Marjukka Kolehmainen (University of Eastern Finland): Forest provides health via food
9.45 – 10.20 Kirsi Mikkonen (University of Helsinki): Wood lignin and hemicellulose as food ingredients

Coffee break (20 min)

Session 2, Chair Ossi Turunen

10.40 – 11.15 Emilia Nordlund (VTT): Bioconversion of forest-based side streams to food ingredients
11.15 – 11.50 Hanna Koivula (University of Helsinki): Wood materials in food packaging

Lunch 11:50-13:00

Session 3, Chair Janne Jänis

13.00 – 13.35 Kati Riekkinen (UEF): Development of new tools to prevent food pathogens
13.35 – 14.00 Students on stage: Topical PhD and MSc projects, and posters and poster award
14.00 – 14.40 Panel discussion, moderation Carlos Gomez Gallego

Funding decisions and symposium closing

14.40 – 15.00 The grant receivers of 2022, Teollisuusneuvos Heikki Väänänen’s Fund, Dean Kari Lehtinen
15.00 Closing remarks
15.00 Coffee & networking