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Hasitha Priyashantha

Hasi Priyashantha
Hasitha Priyashantha, Ph.D., is affiliated with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala, Sweden. He serves as a lecturer and supervisor in the Food and Pharma Technology Program at Folkuniversitetet, Uppsala. With research interests spanning raw material characteristics and food technology, he completed Erasmus Mundus double Master’s degree programs in M.Sc. in Animal Science at SLU, Sweden, and M.Sc. in Food Science at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Technology and Management from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, with a focus on Animal and Dairy Science, and conducted his undergraduate research thesis project and internship in Dairy Science at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.


This CV page has not been recently updated: Last date of update 2024-03-21                                                                                                                                         
I completed my PhD in Food Science at Åse Lundh Lab, Department of Molecular Sciences. I am a well-organized, strategic, result-oriented and enthusiastic team player with expertise in Food Science and Technology. I focused on Agricultural Technology and then specialized on Food Technology throughout my education (BSc. MSc. & PhD) & research. I have been involved in many extracurricular activities during my postgraduate periods (i.e. Youth ambassador in Denmark, organizing a study trip to Japan and chairing the SLU's PhD council etc.). I am a confident and influential communicator with good scientific practices (i.e. Departmental social media coordinator, invited speaker at many events, publishing popular articles and scientific papers etc.). Experienced in consulting, teaching and curriculum development for educational programs for vocational education. Self-driven and equipped with managerial skills to serve in the capacity of senior management positions. Capable of co-working in interdisciplinary and multinational teams. Have a greater level of adaptability in high-tech and handling stressful as well as dynamic situations. Equipped with capabilities of building cross-functioning teams, training and troubleshooting of issues.


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At Folkuniversitetet, Sweden, 

Serve in the capacity as course leader, teacher, administrator and evaluator for the following courses 
1. Food and pharma technology 

2. Process chemistry in food and pharma 
3. Raw material knowledge and processing 
4. Independent thesis project (To communicate science) 
5. Supervision of student projects
6. Coordinator for the student internships 

At Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden 

Teaching in Food Chemistry and Physics (LV0105) MSc. Course 

1.)   Enzymes in food – 3hr lecture
a) Water in food– 3hr lecture
b) Practical class on emulsion – lab teacher

2.)   Lab assistant/demonstrator in Animal Food Science (LV0099) MSc. Course 
a.) Milk coagulation and rheology lab exercise 

b.) Meat texture and colour lab exercise 

At University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka 

Worked as a temporary academic staff member, upon completion of undergraduate education. Involved in teaching and practical classes, pertaining to Dairy Technology 

Pedagogic Education/Trainings 

Have undertaken various pedagogic courses and participated in several seminars and workshops on improving pedagogic skills from SLU’s pedagogic unit (Enheten för pedagogisk utveckling). 


1.)   Teaching in higher education (3 weeks) 

2.)   How to present research (2 weeks) 

3.)   Grading and assessment (3 days) 

4.)   Pedagogic one-day seminars 
o Gender and society
o Activating students
o Internationalizing teaching o Improve students’ skills
o Active learning classrooms o Global equality 


I am applying several food structure characterization methods such as; hyperspectral imaging, microscopic (confocal, electron and fluorescence) imaging, rheological techniques and other advanced food structure measuring techniques to track the changes over the ripening period. Development of aroma components and sensorial properties will be analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively (sensory panel and headspace GC-MS). I also work with the characterization of raw milk composition and properties (e.g. gross composition, casein micelle size, plasmin etc.).


The main organizer of the PhD study visit to Japan and the main applicant of the grant (162 000 SEK) from PhD School Focus on Food & Biomaterials and SLU Future Food

Chairperson of SLUSS PhD Student Council 2018

Social Media Coordinator at the Department of Molecular Sciences, SLU, Aug 2018 – Present

PhD student representative in PhD school "Focus on Food & Biomaterials"

Editorial Experiences

1. Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Dairy Research (contribute to screening, evaluating and decision-making regarding the manuscripts)

2. Guest Editor of the Special Issue in Animals (Impact Factor: 3.2) on "New Insights into the Milk 2.0" 

3. Topic editor for Frontiers in Food Science and Technology Journal on Advances in Postharvest Handling Practices for Fruits and Vegetables


 Reviewer experiences (contributing to the peer-review process of the following journals as a peer-reviewer)

1. Journal of Food Engineering

2. Food  Research International

3. Journal of Functional Foods

4. Journal of Dairy Research

5. International Journal of Dairy Technology

6. International Dairy Journal

7. Journal of Food Control

8. MDPI Journals

9. Nutrition & Food Science

10. Applied Food Research

11. Journal of Food Process Engineering


Training/work experiences 

o Lecturer, supervisor and educational coordinator in Food & Pharma Technology Program at Folkuniversitetet, Uppsala, Sweden 

o Consultant for the Folkuniversitetet within Food & Pharma Technology, Sweden

o Trained for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)

o Research Associate (upon completion of the PhD), at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala, Sweden

o Social Media Coordinator at the Department of Molecular Sciences, SLU

o The Chairperson of the SLU’s PhD council consist of four PhD councils of the student unions and the PhD student commissioner

o Steering committee member (to represent PhD students) of the PhD school Focus on Food and Biomaterials at the Department of Molecular Sciences, SLU

o Industrial Master Thesis student - Chr. Hansen A/S, Fermented milk section, Hørsholm, Denmark

o Internship on Dairy Product Processing at Aula de Productos Lácteos (Dairy Research Laboratory) in Spain

o The postgraduate level course works (i.e. Dairy Chemistry Masterclass, Advanced Food Analysis and Food Protein Functionality) at Wageningen University & Research – WUR, The Netherlands

o Swedish Industrial Food Science PhD training at Lund University, Sweden

o PhD Students Training on Interdisciplinary–Multicultural–International education in Rogów, Poland

o Summer School – Food Security and Sustainability, SLU, Uppsala, Sweden

o Summer School on Animal Derived Foods and Mediterranean animal husbandries in Southern Europe at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.

o Volunteer worker at Rainforest Rescue International, Sri Lanka

o Bank of Ceylon student trainee, Galle, Sri Lanka

o Organizational Management and Supervisory Skills Development diploma training by the Institute of Business and Industrial Studies and Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka 


o 2017- 2021: PhD in Food Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, (SLU) Sweden 

o 2014/2016: MSc. Animal-Derived Foods, University of Copenhagen, Denmark 

o 2014/2016: MSc. Animal Science, SLU, Sweden 

o 2013 (6 months): BSc. Research in Dairy Science & Technology, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain 

o 2009-2013: BSc. Agricultural Technology and Management, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, First Class Honour Degree 

o 1995-2007: Mahinda College, Galle, Sri Lanka
(O/L grade-A for all subjects, A/L Biology, Z-score 1.78) 

Scholarships, grants and awards 

o Erasmus Mundus Food of Life postgraduate full scholarship for graduate studies in Europe - Sweden and Denmark, (2014) offered by Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. 

o EXPERT Asia III full scholarship to undergraduate studies in Europe (2013) offered by Erasmus Mundus Action 2, consortium coordinator Georg-August Universität Göttingen, Germany. 

o University scholarships awarded for academic excellence at the first year and final year examinations in 2010 and 2013 by University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. 

o The American Dairy Science Association® (ADSA) Foundation Graduate Student Literature Review Award: Dairy Foods Division 

o Best Presenter Award at the IDF International Cheese Science and Technology Symposium 2021, Canada 

o Second runner-up of the poster presentation at the advanced food analysis course at Wageningen University, The Netherlands 

o Best oral presenter award at the International Conference of Food Safety and Nutrition, Colombo, Sri Lanka (2015) 

o Recipient of the travel/accommodation scholarship to ELLS Student Conference in Prague (2015) offered by the SLU, Sweden. 

o Travel Grants by the Council of postgraduate education to attend SLU PhD Course Hyperspectral Imaging (7 500 SEK) 

o Recipient of the travel award to “Navigating Brussels”, ELLS training in Belgium (200 euro) 

o Recipient of the travel award by Olof Claesson’s fund to attend a conference (13500 SEK ) 

o Recipient of two awards from PhD school Focus on Food and Biomaterials scholarship for participation in two PhD courses at Wageningen University (10 000 SEK each) 

o Swedish Industrial PhD school travel award (15 000 SEK) for participation in Food Analytical Techniques PhD course at Wageningen University 

o Main applicant of the grant (162 000 SEK) for PhD study visit to Japan from Future Food and Graduate School of Food & Biomaterials 

o Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry travel award (20000 SEK) o Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences PhD travel grant for internationalization (25000 SEK)

o Recipient of the travel award from PhD school sustainable biomass system (12000 SEK) 



BSc. thesis projects 

o Visualization of fluorescent Lactobacillus reuteri in milk using epifluorescence microscopy–Assistant Supervisor 

o Identification of microbial composition of Swedish hard cheese by MALDI ToF mass spectrometry–Assistant Supervisor 

o Shelf Stability of Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) Treated Milk Brands in Sri 

Lanka–Assistant Supervisor
o Variation of Swedish bovine milk quality over 25 years: literature study–Main 


o Stability of natural plant colorants in stirred yoghurt production – Co- supervisor 

o Incorporation of natural plant stabilizers in yoghurt production – Co- supervisor 

o Stability of natural colorants on probiotic stirred yoghurt – Co-supervisor 

o Milk clotting properties of Bryophyllum pinnatum, Calotropis gigantea, and Solanum incanum crude proteases on bovine, buffalo, and goat, skimmed milk– Co-supervisor 

o Development of a quality management system for Nikakotuwa estate dairy processing plant– Co-supervisor 

o Provision of yeast extract-based supplementation to crossbred Jersey- Friesian dairy cows in an intensive dairy farming system in Sri Lanka did not influence the milk yield or composition– Co-supervisor 

o Development and Characterization of Biocomposite Films Using Banana Pseudostem, Cassava Starch and Poly(vinyl alcohol): A Sustainable Packaging Alternative– Co-supervisor

o Can Dawul Kurundu ( Neolitsea involucrate ) leaf extract be used as a plant‐based stabilizer in set yoghurt production? – Co-supervisor

o Several other ongoing BSc thesis projects are currently supervising in collaboration with Sri Lankan Universities 

MSc. thesis projects 

o Variation in milk composition and its correlation to rennet induced coagulation: A case study from northern Sweden–Main Supervisor 

o Plasmin and Plasminogen Variation in Bovine Raw Milk– Co-supervisor 

o Variation of protein profile of bulk milk from Northern Sweden- Co- supervisor 

o The effect of freezing temperature and storage time on casein micelles’ functionality –Main Supervisor 

Higher Vocational Educational Training (HVET)

Each year, I supervise approximately 15 students for their applied research thesis projects as part of their Food and Pharma Technician HVET program fulfillment.

Selected publications

Doctoral Thesis:

Priyashantha, H. (2021). Variation in raw milk quality: Impact on milk coagulation and cheese ripening (Doctoral Thesis 2021:48, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences). Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. ISBN: 9789177607748. 

Peer-Reviewed International Journal Articles (in chronological order): 

1.)      Ponnampalam et al. (2024). Animals

2.)      Dilkushi et al. (2024). Carbohydrate Polymer Technologies and Applications

3.)      Wijekoon,et al (2023).Food Science and Nutrition

4.)      Yapa,etal.(2023).NFS journal 

5.)      Udayakumar, et al. (2022). Applied Sciences*

6.)      Weerasingha, et al. (2022). Journal of Dairy Research

7.)      Weerasingha, et al. (2022). Dairy 

8.)     Wijesekara, et al. (2022). Food Chemistry: X 

9.)     Priyashantha, et al. (2021). Food Structure 

10.)   Priyashantha, et al. (2021). Journal of Ethnic Foods 

11.)   Adikari, et al. (2021). Heliyon

12.)   Priyashantha, H. & Lundh, Å. (2021). Journal of Dairy Science 

13.)   Weragama, et al. (2021). Food Science and Nutrition 

14.)   Priyashantha, et al. (2021). Dairy 

15.)   Priyashantha, et al. (2021). Food Control 

16.)   Priyashantha, et al. (2021). Journal of Dairy Science 

17.)   Priyashantha, et al. (2021). Journal of Dairy Science 

18.)   Madushan, et al. (2021). LWT-Food Science and Technology

19.)   Abesinghe, et al. (2020). Fermentation 

20.)   Jayarathna, et al. (2020). Journal of Food Processing & Preservation 

21.)   Priyashantha, et al. (2020). Journal of Food Engineering 

22.)   Priyashantha, et al. (2019). Journal of Texture Studies 

23.)   Priyashantha, et al. (2019). Journal of Texture Studies 

24.)   Sun, et al. (2019). Journal of Applied Microbiology* 


  • corresponding author for all articles, except when indicated with *
  • Open access full research/review papers are available upon request. 

Book Chapters 
Priyashantha, et al. (2023). In Springer Book: Fig (Ficus carica): Production, Processing, and Properties 
Encyclopaedia of Animal Nutrition  

Cover pages:

Cover Image, Journal of Texture Studies, Volume 50, Issue 6, 2019

Posters and presentations:

Hasitha Priyashantha, Annika Höjer, Karin Hallin-Saedén, Gun Bernes, Monika Johansson, Maud Langton, Åse Lundh, Paul Geladi and Mårten Hetta. Near-infrared hyperspectral imaging for prediction of the maturity of long ripened hard cheese. Poster presented at: IDF World Dairy Summit (2017), Belfast, UK.

Also, the poster was presented at the Food Science Sweden conference in Uppsala, Sweden.

Hasitha Priyashantha, Monika Johansson, Annika Höjer,  Mårten Hetta, Maud Langton and Åse Lundh. Interaction between casein micelle size, calcium and citrate in renneted milk coagulation. Poster presented at: 32nd EFFoST (2018), Nantes, France.

Hasitha Priyashantha. Hyperspectral imaging for rapid prediction of cheese maturity. Poster presented at: 7th Edition of Advanced Food Analysis VLAG International PhD course at Wageningen, The Netherlands. Awarded as the runner-up of the poster session.

Hasitha Priyashantha, Annika Höjer, Karin Hallin-Saedén, Gun Bernes, Monika Johansson, Maud Langton, Åse Lundh, Paul Geladi and Mårten Hetta. Near-infrared hyperspectral imaging in cheese ripening. Oral presentation and poster presented The Chemical Side of SLU IV 2019 August, Uppsala, Sweden. 

Presented NABC (Need-Approach-Benefits-Competitiveness) style pitch based on PhD project at the Food Science Sweden Conference in Lund, November 2019

Participated and delivered an oral presentation about PhD project at the Baltic University Programme's training on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary PhD education workshop for PhD students in Rogow, Poland. 24-28 November 2019

Oral presentation on raw milk quality in cheese making at Nordic Joint Committee for Agricultural and Food Research, 2020-08-27

Oral presentation about the PhD project at the virtual internship programme (2021) for master and PhD students from S.Seifullin Kazakh Agro Technical University, Kazakhstan.

Oral presentation about the PhD project at LiFT (Swedish Industrial PhD School) virtual mini-symposium (2021).

Oral presentation “NIR-hyperspectral imaging enables rapid and non-destructive characterization of long-ripening cheeses based on maturity” at IDF International Cheese Science and Technology Virtual Symposium (2021). Hosted by IDF-Canada and Université Laval, Canada. (First place in the student oral presentation competition).

Flash oral presentation “Impact of on-farm factors in dairy farming systems and sampling month on the composition and properties of bovine milk from dairy farms in Northern Sweden” at Dairy Science and Technology Virtual Symposium (2021). Hosted by Arhus University, Denmark.

Abstract of the PhD thesis published online in Journal of Dairy Research 

Conference paper “Dawul Kurundu” (Neolitsea involucrate) leaf extract as a natural stabilizer in set-yoghurt: Effect on physicochemical and sensory qualities

Popular Articles: 

SLU's knowledge bank article on factors behind variation in raw milk quality and its impact on cheese making properties

SLU's knowledge bank article on how milk quality is affected by dairy farming system and sampling

SLU's knowledge bank article on Development of a non-destructive tool for quality assurance of cheese ripening

Sunday Observer Newspaper article on Potential in dairy farming and the way forward 

Vidusara Newspaper article on Path to self-sustaining Sri Lanka’s need for dairying; is it an achievable challenge? 

Priyashantha, H., Höjer, A., Saedén, K. H., Lundh, Å., Johansson, M., Bernes, G., Geladi, P., Hetta, M. Can cheese maturity be measured using images? New Food Article 90979.

Hasitha Priyashantha, Nazlı Türkmen, Shishanthi Jayarathna. Challenges in probiotic dairy-based beverages. New Food. Issue 5. Beverages. In-Depth Focus – October 2019.

Gun Bernes, Annika Höjer, Åse Lundh, Johan Dicksved, Monika Johansson, Hasitha Priyashantha, and  Li Sun,  Anders H Gustafsson, and  Maud Langton, and Mårten Hetta and Karin Hallin Saedén. Forskning pågår - från foder till ost. Nytt / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för norrländsk jordbruksvetenskap (12609821), Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet, SLU. (2018). Online version available here.

Hasitha Priyashantha, Galia Zamaratskia, Senaka Ranadheera, Priyanga Ranasinghe, The power of Ceylon cinnamon, New Food, Issue 2: 2019. The online version is accessible by visiting the magazine.

Swedish translated version "Kanelen ger mer än smak" published in Livsmedel i fokus, Issue number: 4, ISSN: 1652-912X 

A matter of concentration - Popular Science Article, Dairy Industries International, October 2019, Volume 84 No. 10.


Read more at Research Gate


Awarded the American Dairy Science Association® (ADSA) Foundation Graduate Student Literature Review Award: Dairy Foods Division (PhD)  - SLU news 2022-07-01 and ADSA news page

Best Presenter Award at the IDF International Cheese Science and Technology Symposium 2021 - SLU news 2021-06-16

Organized a Sri Lankan Symposium -SLU webpage 2019-06-19.

Press releases

Daily Mirror Newspaper

The Island Newspaper

The agenda of the event can be found here

Organized a study trip to Japan - SLU webpage 2018-05-21

- Popular article in resurs

-Article in "Livsmedel i fokus" -April issue, 2018, Page 54 (PDF available on request)


The Graduate School LiFT (Future Technologies for Food production) graduate student profile

Invited speaker at the seminar of equal opportunities at SLU

Mjölkråvaran avgörande för mejeriprodukternas hållbarhet och smak (only available in Swedish, prepared in collaboration with Maria Karlsson for Matologi - food festival in Stockholm, 2018)

Seminar on visualization and modelling the maturity of long ripening hard cheese using NIR hyperspectral imaging at the VH faculty day 2018 (Aula, Uppsala) and Umeå - in connection with first year evlaution 

LiFT PhD course in Swedish Food industry in Lund.


Non employee at the Department of Molecular Sciences; Animaliska livsmedel
Postal address:
Institutionen för molekylära vetenskaper
Box 7015
750 07 Uppsala
Visiting address: Almas Allé 5, BioCentrum, Ultuna, Uppsala