Dr Estefania Ledesma Santiso

Dr Estefania Ledesma Santiso


I joined the University of Leeds as Research and Innovation Development Manager (RIDM) of the Food Theme in December 2015.

I received a MEng Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Oviedo (UO) (Spain) in 2009. I prepared my final project during my 1 year Erasmus stay at the Technical University of Ostrava (Czech Republic). I obtained a MSc degree in Food Biotechnology in 2010 at UO. In June 2016, I completed my PhD in Food Biotechnology from the UO, after 7 years working in the Technology of Bioprocesses and Reactors research group at the UO.  Within my scientific production there are 7 scientific publications, and several communications in worldwide conferences.  I have experience as occasional lecturer in the Master's Degree in Food Production Management & Development of UO, training graduates about the preparation of R&D proposals.

From 2010 to 2015 I worked as R&D department co-director of the Spanish Food SME “El Hórreo Healthy Food S.L” (HHF). During this time I acquired extensive experience coordinating partners from academic and industry sectors and different countries, submitting the proposal and confidentiality agreement documents, managing of e-proposal and other calls tools, taking part in project activities and submitting technical and economical justifications. I produced the proposal and managed 12 successful R&D projects, supported by different funders, (i.e.) the Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) (“MEATRACEUTICAL” and “LIPAL” projects) or a Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of the Government of Spain (MINECO) project.  I submitted the European project “LIFEBLOOD, ENV/ES/000243” to the Environmental LIFE Programme call 2013, I enrolled HHF as participant of Framework Programme (FP) projects (FP7-ENV-WATER-INNO-DEMO-1, project “Cidbeles”) and I promoted the results of the successful project “TENDERCHECK” (The Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) COOP-CT-2006-032696). In 2014 I produced the business plan, blind profile and elevator pitch for the Creation of a New Technology Based Company (TBC) (spin-off) “Protein Biotechnologies S.L”, which was funded by the Spanish and European Grants (IDE/2014/000698) and business angels. I attended to several international Food industry and research events in Spain, UK, Belgium (Brussels), Milan (Italy), Brno (Czech Republic) and Boston (USA).

My main priorities at the University of Leeds are:

  • To undertake capability analysis and promote our Food Theme Strengths:  Food & Environment, Livestock Science, Food Industry & Innovation, and Diet & Health.
  • To identify funding opportunities (Innovate UK, GCRF, EU, H2020, BBSRC, EPSRC,...) aligned with our strengths.
  • To help researchers to identify and provide solutions for the key challenges of the food system, by developing and maintaining close working relationships with international food industry partners.
  • To help researchers to develop high quality interdisciplinary project proposals.
  • To help researchers with the management of our innovations, development of new spin-offs, patents and the exploitation and commercialisation of our new intellectual property.
  • To manage our participation in key platforms (such as Food Force) and events organized by key food industry and funders (such as Innovative 2017, H2020 SC2 and brokerage events, etc.)
  • To support new academics (UAF), helping them to find funding opportunities and collaborate in large grants with experienced researchers.


  • Food Theme RIDM

Research interests

My research interest as Food Theme RIDM are ligned with our Strengths:

Food & Environment, Livestock Science (specially pig feeding and wellbeing), Food Industry & Innovation, and Diet & Health (specially Obesity Prevention).

My background as researcher focus on diet and health by means of the development of new functional foods (with anticarcinogenic properties, diabetes and obesity prevention) and the prevention of the contamination of Smoked Food by carcinogenic compounds.

The title of my dissertation was "Benzo(a)pyrene control and transport processes in smoke meat products"

Publication list:

  • Ledesma, E., Rendueles, M., & Díaz, M. (2014). Benzo(a)pyrene penetration on a smoked meat product during smoking time. Food Additives and Contaminants: Part A, 31, 1688–1698.Link
  • Ledesma, E., Rendueles, M., & Díaz, M. (2015). Spanish smoked meat products: Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) contamination and moisture. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 37, 87–94.Link
  • Ledesma, E., Rendueles, M., & Díaz, M. (2015). Characterization of natural and synthetic casings and mechanism of BaP penetration in smoked meat products. Food Control, 51, 195–205.Link
  • Fernández, J., Ledesma, E., Milán, E., Costa, P., Monte, J., Varela, M., Suárez, A., Villar, C.J, & Lombó, F. (2015). Sa1970 Colorectal Cancer Prevention in an Animal Model Using Functional Meat Foods. Gastroenterology, 148 (4), S-371.Link
  • Ledesma, E., Rendueles, M., & Díaz, M. (2016). Contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the meat products smoking: Processes and Prevention. Food Control, 60, 64–87. (Review). Link
  • Ledesma, E., Laca, A., Rendueles, M., & Díaz, M. (2016). Texture, colour and optical characteristics of a meat product depending on smoking time and casing type. LWT-Food Science and Technology, 65, 164-172. Link
  • Ledesma, E., Rendueles, M., & Díaz, M. Smoked Food . Current Developments in Biotechnology and Bioengineering: Food and Beverages Industry, 2016, 201-243. Link


  • Fernández, J., Ledesma, E., Milán, E., Costa, P., Monte, J., Varela, M., Suárez, A., Villar, C.J., Lombó, F. “Colorectal cancer prevention in an animal model using functional meat foods”. Digestive Disease Week 2015.  Washington DC (EEUU), May 16-19, 2015.
  • Fernández, J., Ledesma, E., Milán, E., Costa, P., Monte, J., Varela, M., Suárez, A., Villar, C.J., Lombó, F.  “Colon cancer prevention in an animal model using functional meat foods”. XVIII Anual congress, Spanish Association of Gastroenterology" (AEG). Madrid (Spain), March 25-27, 2015.
  • Fernández, J., Ledesma, E., Milán, E., Costa, P., Monte, J., Varela, M., Suárez, A., Villar, C.J., Lombó, F. “Functionalized meat foods with prebiotics as colon cancer prevention in an animal model”. Spanish Society of Probiotics and Prebiotics (SEPYP). Oviedo (Spain), February 5-6, 2015.
  • Ledesma, E., Rendueles, M., & Díaz, M. “Physical characterization of natural and synthetic casings for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) prevention in smoked meat products”. Keynote in the II International Congress of Chemical Engineering of ANQUE. Madrid (Spain), July 1-4, 2014.
  • Ledesma, E., Monte, J.S., Monte, J., Rendueles, M., Díaz, M. “Optimisation of analytical methods for BaP determination in smoked meat products”. 11th International Nutrition & Diagnostics Conference (INDC). Brno (Czech Republic), August 28-31, 2011.
  • Ledesma, E., Monte, J.S., Monte, J. “Calpastatin biosensor for meat tenderness prediction” (TENDERCHECK”). 1st Satellite Workshop “High Sophisticated Biosensor Systems and their Application”. BVT Technologies,  Brno (Czech Republic),  August 31th, 2011.
Previous Projects:
  • Proposal production and project management (examples)
  • New functional meat foodsfor a safe and healthy population.("FOOD CHALLENGE"). (MINECO, RTC-2014-1525-2, 2014-2017).Project funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of the Government of Spain. (MINECO). Challenges-Collaboration call (RTC). (Collaboration with The Biotechnology & Experimental Therapy based on Nutraceuticals (BITTEN) research group of the University of Oviedo (UO)).
  • Research and development of new meat products apt to therapeuticdiets.("MEATRACEUTICAL"). (CDTI, IDI-20120896, 2012-2015). Project funded by MINECO-Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI). Collaboration with BITTEN (UO).
  • Economical losses reduction of food sector preventing food deterioration and devaluation applying lipidomic technology (LIPAL). (CDTI, IDI-20150471, 2015-2016). Partners: OWL Metabolomics, FRIOBAS BASILIO, SIMON MARTÍN GUIJUELO S.L and COSFER S.A.
  • Research and development of new production lines by means of the animalblood re-use.("BLOODIN").(FICYT, IE 09-383, 2011-2013). Project funded by The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Government of Asturias-Foundation for the Promotion in Asturias of Applied Scientific Research and Technology (FICYT). Collaboration with the Technology of Bioprocesses and Reactors (TBR) research group of UO.
  • Development ofa new "sabadiego bonbons" production process. (IDE/2013/000126, 2013-2014). Project funded by the ERDF, Government of Asturias,-Economic Development Agency of the Principality of Asturias (IDEPA). "Cheque for technological innovation" call. Collaboration with the Technological Centre "ASINCAR".
  • Creation of theTechnology Based Company (TBC)"Protein Biotechnologies S.L". (IDE/2014/000698).IDEPA funded project. Production of proposal, business plan, blind profile and elevator pitch for IDEPA and business angels calls.
  • Investment to improve the technological processes and competitivenessof El Hórreo Healthy Food S.L. (IDEPA, IDE/2012/000313). IDEPA funded project.
  • Course of action of the Asturian SME El Hórreo Healthy Food S.Lfor promoting its services andtypical Asturian foodstuffs in the global market. (IDE/2013/000327).IDEPA funded project.
  • FDA (US, Food and Drug Administration) &BRC (British Retail Consortium) Food Safety Certification. Promoting the typical Asturian meat products of El Hórreo Healthy Food S.Lin the global market(IDEPA, IDE/2012/000232).IDEPA funded project.

Participation in this proposal: New Technological Centreof Food and Energy: Feasibility study. (INNPLANTA, INP-2011-0017-PCT-060000-ACT5, 2011). Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN) funded project.

Experience managing the production of the following proposal:

  •  Development and application of an industrial process for the SANDACH animal BLOOD revalorization and reindustrialization (LIFEBLOOD) (ENV/ES/000243). Project submitted to Environmental LIFE Programme, 2013 call. Partners: The National Meat Processing Industries Association of Spain (ANICE), INCARLOPSA, HHF and BIOGAS FUEL CELL (BFC).

Participation in projects:

  • Development of a pilot drying-smokehouse with low thermal load for the benzopyrene (BaP) control in the asturian butcher industry.("BENZOSTOP"). (CDTI, IDI-20091089,2009-2012).Project funded by MINECO -CDTI. Collaboration with TBR (UO).
  • (Results dissemination)Calpastatin biosensor for meat tenderness prediction.("TENDERCHECK"). The Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).COOP-CT-2006-032696


  • PhD Food Biotechnology (University of Oviedo, Spain)
  • MsC in Foos Biotechnology (University of Oviedo, Spain)
  • MEng Chemical Engineering degree (University of Oviedo, Spain)