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Johanna Buchert

Current position at VTT
Prof., Vice president, Research, Solutions for natural resources and environment

Research background and current research topics

The overall topic of my research is enzyme-aided modification of biomass components for different industrial end-uses. The research started on elucidating the impact different hydrolytic enzymes for pulp and paper processing. Concomitantly new enzyme activities were screened and their role in biomass modification was elucidated. The enzymes were combined to kraft pulp bleaching, treatment of paper mill waters, deinking, and modification of the properties of recycled fibres. Enzyme-aided processing of different textile fibres were also developed using the same enzyme toolbox.

After several years of research with hydrolytic lignocellulose degrading enzymes the enzyme research at VTT was focusing more on oxidative enzymes and the suitability of oxidative enzymes for functionalisation of chemical and mechanical pulps, different lignocellulose derived components or food matrices is now a key topic. Enzyme-aided structure engineering of proteins and carbohydrates in different food raw materials is currently been investigated in several projects. This entity involves the whole research chain from enzyme discovery, analysis of the mode of action of the crosslinking enzymes and finally development of food processing applications.

My current biorefinery- oriented research activities includes development of enzyme-aided extraction and valorisation processes for various lignocellulosic and agro raw materials and by-products. In this context the bio-stage is combined to mechanical or physical unit-operations.

Current major research projects at VTT

PRO-ENZ (Enzymatic tailoring of protein interactions and functionalities in food matrix)
- EU-Marie Curie ITN-project

ERA-NOEL (Novel enzyme tools for production of functional oleochemicals from unsaturated lipids)
- Era-IB project

LIPFUN (Discover and exploitation of novel lipid functionalizing enzymes in industrial processes)
- TEKES Symbio-project


Doctor of Technology, 1991 Helsinki University of Technology

Lic. Techn., 1988, Helsinki University of Technology

M.Sc (Chem. eng), 1985, Helsinki University of Technology

Work history

From 1991 onwards at VTT with different positions (Research professor, Research manager, Research group manager, Scientist/ Senior Research Scientist);

1988-1990, Research scientist, Academy of Finland;

1985-1986, Teaching assistant, Helsinki University of Technology

Positions of trust and professional assignments

  • Member of the scientific advisory board of the Finnish Food industries Federation 2005-
  • Academy of Finland, member of the Research Council of natural sciences and engineering 2007-2009

Selected publications

1. Novel Coprinopsis cinerea polyesterase that hydrolyzes cutin and suberin

doi: 10.1128/AEM.02103-08

Kontkanen, Hanna; Westerholm-Parvinen, Ann; Saloheimo, Markku; Bailey, Michael; Rättö, Marjaana; Mattila, Ismo; Mohsina, Marzia; Kalkkinen, Nisse; Nakari-Setälä, Tiina; Buchert, Johanna

Applied and Environmental Microbiology . Vol. 75 (2009) No: 7, 2148 - 2157

2. Using crosslinking enzymes to improve textural and other properties of food

Buchert, Johanna; Selinheimo, Emilia; Kruus, Kristiina; Mattinen, Maija-Liisa; Lantto, Raija; Autio, Karin

Novel Enzyme Technology for Food Applications. Rastall, E. (ed.) . Woodhead Publishing Limited. Cambridge, UK (2007), 101 - 139

3. Oxidation of milled wood lignin with laccase, tyrosinase and horseradish peroxidase

doi: 10.1007/s00253-004-1800-6

Grönqvist, Stina; Viikari, Liisa; Niku-Paavola, Marja-Leena; Orlandi, M.; Canevali, C.; Buchert, Johanna. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology . Vol. 67 (2005) No: 4, 489 - 494

4. Production and characterization of a secreted, C-terminally processed tyrosinase from the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei

doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2006.05429.x

Selinheimo, Emilia; Saloheimo, Markku; Ahola, Elina; Westerholm-Parvinen, Anu; Kalkkinen, Nisse; Buchert, Johanna; Kruus, Kristiina. FEBS Journal .Vol. 273 (2006) No: 18, 4322 - 4335

5. Hydrolysis of brewer's spent grain by carbohydrate degrading enzymes

Forssell, Pirkko; Kontkanen, Hanna; Schols, Henk A.; Hinz, Sandra; Eijsink, Vincent G.H.; Treimo, Janneke; Robertson, Jim A.; Waldron, Keith W.; Faulds, Craig B.; Buchert, Johanna. Journal of the Institute of Brewing . Vol. 114 (2008) No: 4, 306 – 314

Johanna Buchert's publications in VTT Publications Register


  • Marcus Wallenberg Prize 2003 (Sweden) for a remarkable innovation in the area of forestry and forest industries together with Prof. Tapani Vuorinen, Prof. Maija Tenkanen and Dr. Anita Teleman. (
  • Tappi best research paper award 1999 (T. Vuorinen, P. Fagerström, J. Buchert, M. Tenkanen and A. Teleman) for “Selective hydrolysis of hexenuronic acid groups and its application in ECF and TCF bleaching of kraft pulps”.
  • C.J. Jansson’s award 1996 (Johanna Buchert, Liisa Viikari and Pekka Ehtonen). Finnish paper Engineers’ associatio

Additional information

Johanna Buchert
Vice President, Strategic Research, Bio- and chemical processes
+358 20 722 5146

Additional information

Johanna Buchert
Vice President, Strategic Research, Bio- and chemical processes
+358 20 722 5146