Dr Leo Stevenson
Director of Operations, Food & Human Nutrition Programme (Singapore)

  • Email: leo.stevenson@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +65 65500147
  • Address: Newcastle University Singapore Campus,
    P220H, Block P, Level 2,
    Nanyang Polytechnic,
    180 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8,
    Singapore, 569830


I have held technical, managerial, and academic positions in both the Agri-Food industry and the University Sector.  I have experience of working on projects involving agricultural primary production systems; food product development; food safety and quality management; and the molecular and chemical analysis of food components and contaminants (including collaborative LINK, EU, and Knowledge Transfer Partnership projects). More recently I have also been involved in collaborative public health nutrition project work. My current interests are very much focused on integrating inter-disciplinary approaches that include the food and nutritional sciences, as well as social and consumer sciences, to deliver a better understanding of the complex inter-connections between consumers and foods in food systems.  This includes understanding factors such as: global markets and trade; food security; the complexity of food systems; food-related behaviours; and the impacts of food on both human health and the environment.

My current post involves managing and contributing to the BSc (Hons) Food & Human Nutrition programme being delivered in Singapore (in patrnership with the Singapore Institute of Technology and Nanyang Polytechnic).


BSc (Hons) Environmental Biology (School of Biological Sciences, University of Liverpool) (1986).

MSc Agronomy (School of Agriculture & Food Science, University of Nottingham) (1990).

PhD Agri-Food Microbiology (School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol) (1994).

PGCE Further & Higher Education (School of Education, University of Huddersfield) (1999).

Previous Positions:

Reader in Food Science.  Liverpool John Moores University (2010 - 2011).

Senior Lecturer in Food Science.  Liverpool John Moores University (2000 - 2010).

Involved in managing and delivering undergraduate modules across degree programmes in Food & Nutrition, Community Nutrition, Nutrition, and Food Design & Technology.  Also involved in the development and delivery of bespoke short courses and training for both food companies and public sector organisations; and supervision of post-graduate/post-doctoral researchers involved in a range of food & nutrition related consultancy and research project work.

Lecturer in Food Science.  University of Leeds/Askham Bryan Agricultural College (1998-1999).

Development and delivery of material for the BSc (Hons) Food Production, Processing and Marketing degree (University of Leeds).

Research & Project Development Manager. Adgen Agri-Food Diagnostics (Neogen) Ltd. (1996-1998).

Development of commercial laboratory-based testing services and rapid on-site test kits for use in Agri-Food supply chains. This included the detection and identification of food-borne pathogens and microbial toxins; chemical food analysis (composition and contaminants); food alergen testing; and food authenticity testing.

Research Fellow.  Rhur University, Bochum (Germany) (1994-1996).

Laboratory-based research (molecular biology) investigating aspects of gene expression and gene interaction (transcriptional regulation & RNA processing).

Professional Associations: 

Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) (UK Association for Nutrition). 

Chartered Scientist (CSci). 

Fellow of the  UK Institute of Food Science & Technology (FIFST), and member of the IFST Professional Food Sensory Group (PFSG).

Member of the US-based Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).

Member of the UK Nutrition Society.

Associate member of the Singapore Institute of Food Science & Technology (SIFST). 

Recent Invited Conference & Professional Presentations:

Nutrient analysis and nutrient profiling as tools to improve the nutritional quality of 'out of home' foods. International Life Sciences Institute SE Asia Region 7th Workshop on Nutritional Labelling, Claims, and Communication Strategies. August 30-31, 2012, Bangkok Thailand.

Challenges of working at the interface of food science and applied human nutrition. Singapore Institute of Food Science & Technology Professional Talks, Singapore Polytechnic, 24th April 2012.

Nutritional research and knowledge transfer - supporting the Food Industry.  Presentation to the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Food Group, 29th November 2011.

The Liverpool 'Eatright' project & practical strategies to improve the nutritional quality of takeaway foods. Heart of Mersey Conference 'Takeaways Unwrapped' developing local policy & healthier foods in the 'informal eating out' sector.  Liverpool John Moores University, 7th April 2011.

From takeaway foods to functional foods - the challenges of assessing dietary exposure to substances potentially injurious to health.  University of Liverpool Food Security Network Meeting, 11th June 2010. 

Findings from the UK CHANCE - Community Health Management to Enhance Behaviour Project.  Embassy of German State of Hesse, Brussels (to representatives of the European Commission), 15th October 2009. 

Other Professional Activity:

Member of the Scientific Committee for the 13th ASEAN Food Conference, 9-11 September 2013, Singapore.

Member of the Scientific Advisory Panel for the International Life Sciences Institute (SE Asia), including the Food Innovation Cluster.


Currently contributing to the following modules on the BSc (Hons) Food & Human Nutrition degree programme:

ACE2140 Experimental Food Science (Module Leader)

ACE2141 Food Microbiology  (Module Leader)

ACE2156 Food Science & Technology

ACE3173 Advanced Food Science 

ACE3174 Medicinal Plants/Functional Foods (Module Leader)

ACE3190 Project/Dissertation 




Current Research Projects:

Evaluation of regulatory frameworks used in SE Asia to substantiate health and nutritional claims on food products.

Understanding mid & late adolescents 'out of home food' consumption patterns in Singapore and their nutritional significance.

Strategies for helping manage food waste in Singapore food manufacturing companies.    


Previous Research Projects:

Liverpool Primary Care Trust: ‘Liverpool Eatright Project’. Practical ways of developing healthier take-away food options.

Liverpool City Council Trading Standards: Feasibility study of project work that could be undertaken to improve the nutritional quality of take-away foods.

Kellogg’s Ltd.: Breakfast consumption and body image satisfaction.

EU Grundtvig Project (EAC/61/2006). Evaluating community based (food-related) health strategies, including how social networks influence food-related health behaviours (10 EU partners, 6 countries).

KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) – Divine Chocolate Company Ltd.

European Social Fund ESF-EQUAL, ‘ACORN’ Project: Development and delivery of training packages (for Food Manufacturing companies), looking at transferring ‘lean manufacturing’ expertise from the Automotive to the Food Sector.

Merseyside Health Action Zone: Development and implementation of a Merseyside Food Charter (to help encourage minimum nutritional standards in foods prepared and handled by small Merseyside food businesses).

Merseyside Health Action Zone. ‘Home-based Food Hygiene Training Intervention: A Community Development Approach' (Dingle area Liverpool 8).

Neighbourhood Renewal Fund ‘Home-based Food Hygiene Training Intervention’ on behalf of Liverpool City Council (Toxteth area Liverpool 8).

Heart of Mersey: Investigation into deep-fat frying practices in a sample of Merseyside fast-food outlets.

DTI & BBSRC LINK: Molecular Sensors Programme: Ripeness indicating PVC Encapsulated Electrochemical Sensor System (SIM 4/11/08).
MAFF & H-GCA LINK: Technologies for Sustainable Farming Systems Optimising the Inputs and Performance of Triazole Fungicides by On-Site Monitoring of Residual Activity in Winter Wheat (P172).

MAFF & H-GCA LINK: Technologies for Sustainable Farming Systems Development of a Diagnostic Reagent for the Quantitative Estimation of Sclerotinia ascospore Infection of Oilseed Rape Flower Petals and the Development of a Forecasting Scheme for the Control of Sclerotinia Stem Rot (P180).

EU Framework IV: Rapid Detection Systems for Mould Contamination (Fair 1-1120).

EU Framework IV: Development of Diagnostic Methods and a Rapid Field Kit for Monitoring Monilinia Rot of Stone and Pomme Fruit (Fair 1-0725). 


Industry-Linked Consultancy Projects:

Use of okara (soya-bean husk) as a 'food co-product' in surimi fish paste products. 

Evaluation of deep-fat frying conditions for maximising the quality of peanut-based snack products.

Sensory & consumer evaluation of apple juice infused tart cherries & Chilean raisins.

Health benefits of apple consumption.

Nutritional evaluation of extrude snack food products.  

Nutritional analysis of foods commonly used as ingredients in African and Caribbean foods. 

Review of nutritional issues associated with Afro-Caribbean communities in the UK.

Sensory and consumer evaluation of Montmorency cherry concentrate.

Composition of goats' milk and associated nutritional issues.

Consumer and sensory evaluation of real ales.

Sensory and consumer evaluation of chocolate products.

Use and development of computer programmes to estimate growth, survival, and inactivation of food-borne bacteria in meat-based products.

Review of potential strategies for improving the shelf-life of 'premium' sausage products.