Gunnar Sigge, PhD


Gunnar Sigge is associate professor and head of the Department of Food Science, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, a position he has held since 2009. He completed his BS, MS, and PhD at Stellenbosch and has worked full time within the department since 1993 and in an academic capacity since 2003. Gunnar is passionate about working with students and instilling in them the basic principles of food science and the important role it plays in sustainably feeding the world. His research interests include food processing, food processing wastewater treatment, sustainable water use in the food industry, food safety of irrigated fresh produce, and irrigation water disinfection systems.

Gunnar is particularly interested in the interrelatedness of many scientific disciplines within food science, specifically related to food and nutrition security. He was actively involved in the establishment of the master’s in food and nutrition security degree program at Stellenbosch University, which commenced in 2017.

Gunnar has been actively involved with the South African Association for Food Science and Technology (SAAFoST) since 1997 and has served in various SAAFoST leadership capacities, including as SAAFoST president from 2010–13. While he was president, the SAAFoST Foundation was established, which now annually supports more than 25 students with bursaries.

IFT Highlights

During Gunnar’s SAAFoST presidency, SAAFoST launched its own magazine, South African Food Science and Technology (FST), which has a publishing agreement with IFT’s Food Technology magazine. He also served on IFT's Annual Meeting Scientific Program Advisory Panel from 2016-20, which he chaired in 2016 and 2018. Gunnar was invited to take part in the IFT Strategic Retreats in 2012 and 2013 and served on IFT’s Division Champions Team from 2017-19. He was also a member of IFT’s Inclusive Systems Review Task Force and serves on the leadership team of IFT’s International Division as a Member at Large.


BS in food science from Stellenbosch University 

MS in food science from Stellenbosch University

PhD in food science from Stellenbosch University