Dr Filipa VM Silva



Filipa Silva completed a five year Food Engineering Bachelor degree in the Superior School of Biotechnology, Catholic University of Portugal, and a two year Master of Engineering at the University of Florida, USA, focusing Postharvest Technology and Distribution of Perishable Fruits and Vegetables.In 2000 she concluded a PhD in Biotechnology in the field of Food Science and Engineering.  She taught the following courses in tertiary education institutions between 1995 and 2006: Agricultural Products Technology, Postharvest Technology, Introduction to Bioprocesses, Thermodynamics, Process Engineering and Statistics.

From 2003 to 2009 she investigated the biological activity of new plant extracts, carbohydrates and natural products at the University of Lisbon and the Polytechnic School of Santarem.

Her research activity and interests are in Food Process Engineering, in particular studying the effects of new food preservation technologies such as high pressure processing (HPP), on food safety and shelf-life, and the design of proper pasteurisation processes. Her expertise in microbiology and enzymes are helpful for studying the effect of emerging food preservation technologies on food spoilage microbes/enzymes. The production of plant extracts and the determination of their biological activity such as antibacterial, antifungal and insecticidal activities, is another area of research.


PhD Biotechnology (Food Science and Engineering), ESB-UCP, Portugal (2000)
Master Engineering (Postharvest Technology Fruits/Vegetable), University of Florida, USA (1995)
Food Engineering 5 year Bachelor Degree, ESB-UCP, Portugal (1992)


Research | Current

  • Thermal and non-thermal pasteurisation of foods.
  • Food safety and food microbiology.
  • Food distribution, storage and refrigeration.
  • Postharvest technology for fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • High Pressure Processing (HPP) of foods.
  • Antimicrobials and enzyme activity testing

Research group


Teaching | Current

Coordination of:

  • CHEMMAT 756 - Food Process Engineering
  • CHEMMAT 757 - Engineering Biotechnology
  • CHEMMAT 751 - Final Year Research Project

Postgraduate supervision

Current PhD supervision

Candidate: Hafiz Majid
Thesis: Production and optimisation of plant extracts aiming the inhibition of enzymes and alzheimer disease.

Candidate: Sanelle Van Wik

Thesis: Non thermal pasteurization of wine


PhD thesis concluded 

CandidateAlifdalino Sulaiman
Thesis: Control of fruit browning using non thermal pasteurisation techniques.

CandidateElham Milani
Thesis: Non thermal pasteurization of beer.

CandidateEvelyn Evelyn
Thesis: Power ultrasound and high pressure processing inactivation of microbial spores.


Biolab - Laboratory manager, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering.

Areas of expertise

Food Process Engineering

  • Plant bioactives
  • Microbial susceptibility testing
  • Enzyme activity testing

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Professional affiliations

  • The New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology Inc. (NZIFST)
  • Engineering Association Portugal (Ordem dos Engenheiros)
  • Member of Iseki Food Association (IFA)


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Rozali, S. N. M., Milani, E. A., Deed, R. C., & Silva, F. V. M. (2017). Bacteria, mould and yeast spore inactivation studies by scanning electron microscope observations. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 263, 17-25. 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2017.10.008
  • Sulaiman, A., Farid, M., & Silva, F. V. M. (2017). Strawberry puree processed by thermal, high pressure, or power ultrasound: Process energy requirements and quality modeling during storage. Food Science and Technology International, 23 (4), 293-309. 10.1177/1082013216685485
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mohammed Farid
  • Evelyn, & Silva, F. V. M. (2017). Resistance of Byssochlamys nivea and Neosartorya fischeri mould spores of different age to high pressure thermal processing andthermosonication. Journal of Food Engineering, 201, 9-16. 10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2017.01.007
  • van Wyk, S., & Silva, F. V. M. (2017). High pressure inactivation of Brettanomyces bruxellensis in red wine. Food Microbiology, 63, 199-204. 10.1016/j.fm.2016.11.020
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/32411
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sanelle Van Wyk
  • Sulaiman, A., Farid, M., & Silva, F. V. M. (2017). Quality stability and sensory attributes of apple juice processed by thermosonication, pulsed electric field and thermal processing. Food Science and Technology International, 23 (3), 265-276. 10.1177/1082013216685484
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mohammed Farid
  • Milani, E. A., & Silva, F. V. M. (2017). Ultrasound assisted thermal pasteurization of beers with different alcohol levels: inactivation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae ascospores. Journal of Food Engineering, 198, 45-53. 10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2016.11.015
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/32252
  • Silva, F. V. M., & Sulaiman, A. (2017). Advances in thermosonication for the inactivation of endogenous enzymes in foods. In D. Bermudez-Aguirre (Ed.) Ultrasound: Advances in food processing and preservation (pp. 101-130). Academic Press, Elsevier. 10.1016/B978-0-12-804581-7.00004-X
  • Evelyn, Milani, E., & Silva, F. V. M. (2017). Comparing high pressure thermal processing and thermosonication with thermal processing for the inactivation of bacteria, moulds, and yeasts spores in foods. Journal of Food Engineering, 214, 90-96. 10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2017.06.027

Contact details

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