Valokuva Eero Puolanne

Eero Puolanne


1978 …2021

Tutkimustuotoksia vuodessa

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Henkilökohtainen profiili




High school graduate, 1966

M.S. in Meat Technology, University of Helsinki, 1971

Licentiate Degree in Meat Technology (major) and Food Chemistry and Technology, University of Helsinki, 1974 (one year program)

Ph.D. in Meat Technology, University of Helsinki, 1977.  Thesis: Der Einfluss von verringerten Nitrit- un Nitratzusätzen auf die Eigenschaften der Rohwurst.


Professional Career

Professor in Meat Technology, University of Helsinki, 3/1984-

Affiliate Professor in Meat Technology, Danish Veterinary and Agricultural University,    Department of Food Science/Meat Science, 2006-2010 (Secondary Occupation)

Dean of Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki, 1992-94, 1995-7/1998

Acting Professor in Meat Technology, University of Helsinki, 2/1983-2/1984

Senior lecturer (docent) in Meat Technology, University of Helsinki, 1978-1983

Senior Researcher, Academy of Science in Finland, 7/1981-1/1983

Researcher, Academy of Science in Finland, 1976-81

Research Assistant, Academy of Science in Finland, 1972-76

Research Assistant, Department of Meat Technology, University of Helsinki, 8/1970-72


Tutkimuksen ja opetuksen kuvaus


Nitrite and nitrate

In 1973–1977 my main research topic was nitrite and nitrate in dry fermented sausages.  I was able to show that it is possible to prepare fermented sausage with 150 mg NaNO3 /kg and 100 mg NaNO2 /kg and with their 50-percentages combination (75+50).  It was also shown that virtually no reduction of nitrate took place below pH 5.2 and 15 ºC.  The nitrite reduction stopped at pH 5.0.  The reaction kinetics of the effects of starter cultures on nitrate reduction was also studied in vitro.

In 2001–2003 I was the project leader in a joint study funded by the Technological Agency of Finland and Finnish meat industry on the reduction of the nitrite levels in Finnish meat products.  It was stated that the levels of added nitrite can be reduced to 80 mg NaNO2 /kg.  The nitrite intake of children of 1–6 years would then reduce by 27% which is a marked reduction from ADI levels of 50–70 to 30–50%.


Water binding in cooked meat products

From 1977 onwards I have studied water-binding in cooked meat products.  Salt and salt mixtures other additives and ingredients, meats as such, pH, processing parameters etc. have been studied from a rather practical point of view.  Recently, a system of measuring the water-binding capacity of meat trimmings in a multicomponent sausage batter was developed, and the effects of salt and phosphate on water-binding in meats of naturally varying pH-values were studied. 

1981–1984 I studied the effects of pre-rigor curing on the water-binding of meat in cooked sausages.  It was stated that pre-rigor curing has similar effects on water-binding that the use of phosphate.  The amount of salt in meat should be, depending on fat content, at least 1.3–1.5% NaCl in order to establish the heat resistant gel.  In lower salt contents a fine raw batter can be obtained, but the structure will break during the heating.  Consequently, minced meat products cannot benefit well of pre-rigor meat, because the content of salt needed for heat stability is sensorially too high.

An application of this research line has been the joint study on the reduction of sodium in Finnish meat products, funded by Technological Agency of Finland and Finnish meat industry in 1999–2001.  We were able to show that a substantial reduction in sodium can be achieved in most of the Finnish meat products being already now on average internationally low salt products, without compromising the sensory or technological quality of the products.

Currently I participate in the large EU-project Q-PorkChains, coordinated by Dr. Anders Karlsson, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.  Title of the topic to be done at the Department of Food Technology is ‘Theoretical basis of water-binding in muscle gels’.


The effects of stress on meat quality and animal welfare

Since 1979 the other main research line of mine, in addition of water-binding, has been animal stress and meat quality, related in animal welfare.  In 1979-80 we made an extensive study on DFD beef collecting data of 13,200 animals from 14 slaughterhouses.  The main conclusion was to recommend the use of individual penning of bulls in slaughterhouses, which is the common practice in Finland now. 

From 1990 on we have studied the fibre typing and other biochemical characteristics of porcine muscles in relation to meat quality.  Now we concentrate on growth rate, and the specific themes are lactic acid metabolism, bone and connective tissue strength in pigs and poultry.  The studies have been funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finnish Academy of Science and Meat Industry. 

In connection to this theme, a couple of articles on meat ethics have been prepared.


Other research activities

Shorter projects have been numerous, including colour measurements in cooked meat products, the effect of pH in beef during cooling on the tenderness and aging was studied comparing of slaughterhouses of different cooling rates.  It was stated that the most important factor to follow is that the pH value is not above 5.8 when the temperature decreases to 7 ºC or less.  The high pH causes cold toughening, not necessarily cold shortening.  We were also able to show in vitro that in a carcass-like situation when there are temperature gradient in the muscle, the colder part will cold shorten, and the warmer part will rupture because the shortening in the cold part of the muscle.

I was also leading in 2001–2 a project on the future of food production and food industry in Finland.  About 50 leading Finnish experts did a working group project in order to prognosticate the situation in 2030 in Finland.



Courses (each year):

Colloid Chemistry of Meat, 1972-82. (6 ECTS);
Preliminary course in Meat Technology, 1983- (3 ECTS);
Master’s Level course in Meat Science, 1983- (6 ECTS);
Master’s Level course in Meat Technology, 1983- (4 ECTS);
Environmental Technology in Food Industry 1998- (2 ECTS);


Major Professor (and supervisor/co-supervisor) for 8/1 Doctoral degrees (2 in 1994, 1 in 1995, 2 1996, 1 in 2000, 1 in 2001, 1 in 2006 and 1 in 2007).

Major Professor and supervisor for 4 Licentiate degrees and for about 160 Masters' degrees

Currently the supervisor for 2 Doctoral Students and 10 Master Students



  • 415 Muut maataloustieteet
  • Elintarviketieteet/lihateknologia

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