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Cristina Botinestean

Food Technologist

Research Interests

Dr. Cristina Botinestean is currently a Food Technologist in the Food Industry Development Department, where she leads food research and industry projects, particularly in the area of meat and meat products. Cristina provides expert R&D knowledge on food product development and reformulation, quality attributes of prepared consumer food products, sensory analysis, and consumer research.

Cristina is the Committee Chair for Teagasc’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) where she provides professional and social support for Teagasc International Staff.

Cristina is a certified Sensory Panel Leader, and her research expertise includes sensory evaluation techniques and the applications of virtual and augmented reality in Sensory Science. Cristina is a tutor for delivering an IFST accredited sensory training course for industry/research staff.

Previously, Cristina previously worked as a Research Officer – Sensory Panel Manager at Teagasc, in the Food Quality and Sensory Science Department, where she managed comprehensive sensory evaluation activities of Meat Technology Ireland (MTI) project. In this role, Cristina was responsible for coordinating, training, and designing descriptive sensory trials for the sensory quality assessment.

Before her role as a Research Officer, Cristina worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher on the Meat4Vitality project, where her research aimed to enhance the textural attributes of meat products to increase their appeal to elderly consumers.

Cristina also worked in the meat industry as a Production and Quality Assurance Engineer, where she led the development of a wide range of meat products.

Current Projects

  • NO2Nitrates: Novel nitrate/nitrite reduced and nitrate/nitrite free meats: safety, quality and shelf-life, DAFM funded (2021R426)
  • Meat Standard Australia: Beef Sensory Testing, commercial project - industry funded
  • Meat en-Riched with fibres and other nutrients extracted from unused and emerging seasonal sources, Teagasc Walsh Scholarship funded
  • Driving dietary shifts to plant proteins from Irish crops through the development of novel extruded meat product alternatives, Teagasc Walsh Scholarship funded
  • Dry Aged Hams, Innovation Partnership Programme (Feasibility study), EI funded
  • Impact of grass feeding versus concentrate production systems on the sensory characterisation of Irish beef, Teagasc Walsh Scholarship funded
  • Meat Technology Ireland (MTI) Phase I. (TC2016002), EI and industry funded
  • Meat4Vitality: Enhancement of texture, flavour and nutritional value of meat products for older adults, DAFM funded (11/F/045)
  • Industry funded food projects


Postdoctoral studies, Teagasc Food Research Centre Ashtown, Dublin, Ireland (2014-2017)

Ph.D. in Food Engineering, Banat University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Timisoara, Romania & University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria (2010-2013)

M.Sc. in Integrated Systems for Food Processing and Additives, Banat University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Timisoara, , Romania (2008-2010) 

B.Sc. Eng. in Food Processing Technologies, Banat University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Timisoara, , Romania (2003-2008)