The main objective of the Curtis Analytics is to help the food industry mitigate the acrylamide problem in food. Curtis Analytics is the fastest asparagine testing service company in the UK and hold contracts with five major bread and breakfast cereal producers, farmers and crisp producers. Curtis Analytics was established by Dr Tanya Curtis at the end of July 2017.

Formation of the company was encouraged by Rothamsted’s then head of Business Engagement and Commercialisation, Andrew Spencer.  He believed that Curtis Analytics would be very successful, based on his previous experience with the similar spin-off and start-up businesses. The company started operating in 2017 and was entirely supported by Dr Tanya Curtis.

Tanya Curtis

Dr Curtis completed her PhD at Rothamsted Research as a postgraduate student registered in the Food Biosciences Department at Reading University. She continued investigations into acrylamide mitigation in wheat through her post-doctoral studies.  Her BBSRC-funded £1.6M link project, BB/I020918/1, delivered 11 research papers in internationally reviewed journals and several invitations to International conferences. The last two papers provided bases for the agronomical improvement of wheat management for acrylamide reduction and mitigation that were incorporated into EU regulation: COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) 2017/2158 of 20 November 2017, establishing mitigation measures and benchmark levels for the reduction of the presence of acrylamide in food.

Sarah Usher


Dr Usher Completed her PhD in Epigenetics at Rothamsted Research in 2009. She has since worked as a post-doctoral scientist generating and characterising GM plants which produce beneficial oils.  Dr Usher has extensive experience in molecular biology, biochemistry and analytical techniques, with over 18 years in the laboratory.



Ondrej Kosik 

Ondrej is an experienced plant glycobiologist with a demonstrated history of working in the industry. His main interest is in plant cell wall architecture and its influence on human health and nutrition. Ondrej got his PhD in Biochemistry as part of Marie Currie training network. He held a postdoctoral position at Department of Biochemistry at University of Cambridge, followed by his second postdoc at Rothamsted Research. Ondrej is a specialist in method development, liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, size-exclusion chromatography, glycobiology, enzymology and biotechnology. Ondrej joined Curtis Analytics in April 2019, bringing his expertise and passion for science.

Featured Publications


Selected publications Tanya Curtis

Nigel G Halford, Tanya Y Curtis, Acrylamide in Food, World Scientific Europe Ltd (28 Feb. 2019).

Curtis, T; Halford, NG;     Food security: the challenge of increasing wheat yield and the importance of not compromising food safety Annals of Applied Biology    164    3    354-372    2014    Blackwell Publishing Ltd Oxford, UK

Halford, NG; Curtis, TY; Muttucumaru, N; Postles, J; Mottram, DS;   Sugars in crop plants    Annals of Applied Biology    158    1    Jan-25    2011    Blackwell Publishing Ltd Oxford, UK

Halford, N G; Curtis, T Y; Muttucumaru, N; Postles, J; Elmore, JS; Mottram, DS;     The acrylamide problem: a plant and agronomic science issue    Journal of experimental botany    63    8    2841-2851    2012    Oxford University Press

Curtis, T Y; Muttucumaru, N; Shewry, PR; Parry, M AJ; Powers, S J; Elmore, JS; Mottram, DS; Hook, S; Halford, N G;     Effects of genotype and environment on free amino acid levels in wheat grain: implications for acrylamide formation during processing    Journal of agricultural and food chemistry    57    3    1013-1021    2009    American Chemical Society

Curtis, T Y; Powers, S J; Balagiannis, D; Elmore, JS; Mottram, DS; Parry, M AJ; Rakszegi, M; Bedo, Z; Shewry, P R; Halford, N G;     Free amino acids and sugars in rye grain: implications for acrylamide formation    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry    58    3    1959-1969    2010    American Chemical Society

Muttucumaru, Nira; Elmore, J Stephen; Curtis, Tanya; Mottram, Donald S; Parry, Martin AJ; Halford, Nigel G;     Reducing acrylamide precursors in raw materials derived from wheat and potato    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry    56    15    6167-6172    2008    ACS Publications

Halford, Nigel G; Curtis, Tanya Y; Chen, Zhiwei; Huang, Jianhua;     Effects of abiotic stress and crop management on cereal grain composition: implications for food quality and safety    Journal of Experimental Botany    66    5    1145-1156    2014    Oxford University Press UK

Halford, N G; Muttucumaru, N; Curtis, T Y; Parry, M AJ;     Genetic and agronomic approaches to decreasing acrylamide precursors in crop plants    Food additives and contaminants    24    sup1    26-36    2007    Taylor & Francis

Byrne, EH; Prosser, I; Muttucumaru, N; Curtis, T Y; Wingler, A; Powers, S; Halford, N G;     Overexpression of GCN2‐type protein kinase in wheat has profound effects on free amino acid concentration and gene expression    Plant biotechnology journal    10    3    328-340    2012    Blackwell Publishing Ltd Oxford, UK


Google Scholar

Selected publications Sarah Usher

Rentel, M. C., Lecourieux, D., Ouaked, F., Usher, S. L., Petersen, L., Okamoto, H., Knight, H., Peck, S. C., Grierson, C. S., Hirt, H., Knight, M. R. (2004). OXI1 kinase is necessary for oxidative burst-mediated signalling in Arabidopsis. Nature 427:858-861

Betancor, M. B., Sprague, M., Usher, S., Sayanova, O., Campbell, P. J., Napier, J. A., Tocher, D. R. (2015). A nutritionally-enhanced oil from transgenic Camelina sativa effectively replaces fish oil as a source of eicosapentaenoic acid for fish. Scientific Reports: 5:8104. doi: 10.1038

Ruiz-Lopez, N., Haslam, R. P., Usher, S. L., Napier, J. A., Sayanova, O. (2013). Reconstitution of EPA and DHA biosynthesis in arabidopsis: iterative metabolic engineering for the synthesis of n-3 LC-PUFAs in transgenic plants. Metabolic Engineering; 17: 30-41

Betancor, M. B., Sprague, M., Sayanova, O., Usher, S., Campbell, P. J., Napier, J. A., Caballero, M. J., Tocher, D. R. (2015). Evaluation of a high-EPA oil from transgenic Camelina sativa in feeds for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.): Effects on tissue fatty acid composition, histology and gene expression. Aquaculture; 444: 1-12.

Betancor MB, Li K, Bucerzan VS, Sprague M, Sayanova O, Usher S, Han L, Norambuena F, Torrissen O, Napier JA, Tocher DR, Olsen RE. (2018). Oil from transgenic Camelina sativa containing over 25 % n-3 long-chain PUFA as the major lipid source in feed for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). British Journal of Nutrition; 119(12):1378-1392

Usher, S., Haslam, R. P., Ruiz-Lopez, N., Sayanova, O., Napier, J. A. (2015). Field trial evaluation of the accumulation of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in transgenic Camelina sativa: Making fish oil substitutes in plants. Metabolic Engineering Communications; 2: 93-98

Napier, J. A., Usher, S., Haslam, R. P., Ruiz-Lopez, N., Sayanova, O. (2015). Transgenic plants as a sustainable, terrestrial source of fish oils. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology; 117(9): 1317-1324.

Ruiz-Lopez, N., Usher, S., Sayanova, O. V., Napier, J. A., Haslam, R. P. (2014). Modifying the lipid content and composition of plant seeds: engineering the production of LC-PUFA. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology; 99(1): 143-54

Ruiz-Lopez, N., Haslam, R. P., Usher, S., Napier, J.A., Sayanova, O. (2015). An alternative pathway for the effective production of the omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturates EPA and ETA in transgenic oilseeds. Plant Biotechnology Journal; 13(9):1264-75

PhD thesis: Nucleosome Positioning in Arabidopsis




Selected publications Ondrej Kosik

Cabib E., Farkas V., Kosik O., Blanco N., Arroyo J., McPhie P. (2008) Assembly of the yeast cell wall: Crh1p and Crh2p act as transglycosylases in vivo and in vitro. Journal of Biological Chemistry 283(44), 29859-29872.

Derba-Maceluch M., Awano T., Takahashi J., Lucenius J., Ratke C., Kontro I., Busse-Wicher M., Kosik O., Tanaka R., Winzell A., Kallas A., Lesniewska J., Berthold F., Immerzeel P., Teeri T.T., Ezcurra I., Dupree P., Serimaa R. Mellerowicz E.J. (2015) Suppression of xylan endotransglycosylase PtxtXyn10A affects cellulose microfibril angle in secondary wall in aspen wood. New Phytologist 205(2), 666-681.

Kosik O., Auburn R.P., Russell S., Stratilova E., Garajova S., Hrmova M., Farkas V. (2008) Polysaccharide microarrays for high-throughput screening of transglycosylase activities in plant extracts. Glycoconjugate Journal 27(1), 79-87.

Chatzifragkou A., Kosik O., Prabhakumari P.C.; Lovegrove A., Frazier R.A., Shewry P.R., Charalampopoulos D.  (2015) Biorefinery strategies for upgrading Distillers’ Dried Grains with Solubles (DDGS). 50(12), 2194-2207.

Kosik O. and Farkas V. (2008) One-pot fluorescent labeling of xyloglucan oligosaccharides with sulforhodamine. Analytical Biochemistry 375(2), 232-236.

Ho A.L., Kosik O., Lovegrove A., Charalampopoulos D., Rastall R.A. (2018) In vitro fermentability of xylo-oligosaccharide and xylo-polysaccharide fractions with different molecular weights by human faecal bacteria. Carbohydrate Polymers 179, 50-58.

Zielke C., Kosik O., Ainalem M-L., Lovegrove A., Stradner A., Nilsson L. (2017) Characterization of cereal β-glucan extracts from oat and barley and quantification of proteinaceous matter. PLOS One 12(2), e0172034.

Chatzifragkou A., Prabhakumari P.C.; Kosik O., Lovegrove A., Shewry P.R., Charalampopoulos D. (2016) Extractability and characteristics of proteins deriving from wheat DDGS. Food Chemistry 198, 12-19.

De Santis M.A., Kosik O., Passmore D., Flagella Z., Shewry P.R., Lovegrove A. (2018) Comparison of the dietary fibre composition of old and modern durum wheat (Triticum turgidum spp. durum) genotypes. Food Chemistry, 244, 304-310.

Freeman J., Ward J.L., Kosik O., Lovegrove A., Wilkinson M.D., Shewry P.R., Mitchell R.A.C. (2017) Feruloylation and structure of arabinoxylan in wheat endosperm cell walls from RNAi lines with suppression of genes responsible for backbone synthesis and decoration. Plant Biotechnology Journal 15(11), 1429-1438.

The primary objective of the company is to help the food industry mitigate the

acrylamide problem in food. Curtis Analytics Ltd is the fastest asparagine testing service company in the UK with contracts from five major bread and breakfast cereal producers, farmers and crisp producers. Curtis Analytics Ltd (CAL) was established by Dr Tanya Curtis at the end of July 2017.

During the first year of its establishment Curtis Analytics successfully:

  • Lead Innovate UK application for ASNInsta testing.
  • Won a private supported project that aims to develop edible protein film for cereal and protein bars.
  • Processed successfully 5000 samples in the first year of trading.

Telephone: 07766 748793

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