Elske Brouwer-Brolsma

Elske Brouwer-Brolsma

Wageningen University & Research
Division of Human Nutrition and Health


Focus of the project

Accurate dietary assessment is the cornerstone of nutrition research. Currently, paper-pencil based food records (FRs), 24-hour recalls (24hRs), and food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) are the most commonly used methods to assess dietary intake. However, these tools are limited by various methodological factors (e.g., susceptible to social desirable answers and recall bias due to memory issues), and are burdensome to both participants and researchers. Therefore, there is a growing interest in more technology-based (wearable) dietary assessment methods (e.g. acoustic-based sensors, camera-based sensors, sensors detecting chewing, swallowing or wrist motion, physiologic-based sensors, piezoelectric-based sensors) and app-based records/diaries, which have the potential to improve accuracy of collected dietary data and reduce participant’s burden. Our objective is to collect food intake data in a faster, more flexible, and more reliable manner.

Key research questions

Contributing to the scientific basis for further development of current dietary assessment tools by integrating photo, video, speech recording, biomarkers and/or sensor-based data with machine-learning.

Develop general as well as patient/population-specific app-based versions of currently used dietary assessment tools and evaluate their usability and validity.

Integrate the dietary assessment module with a coaching module in order to provide more personalized dietary advice.

Collaboration partners

Within P&P

Collaboration focusing on innovating dietary intake assessment, e.g., voice-assisted dietary assessment, image-assisted dietary assessment, development of population-specific tools, integration of machine-learning, etc. (WUR, TUE).

Collaboration focusing on the innovation of tools for eating behaviour (WUR, UTwente).

Collaboration focusing on innovating dietary intake assessment from the view-point of usability, attractability using a multi-stakeholder approach. (WUR, TUDelft).


Researcher within the FoodBAll consortium (JPI FoodBAll, 2014/16267/ZONMW), SWEET-project (EU SWEET, 774293) and Cardioferment project (funded by Wageningen University and Agroscope Bern). All three projects contribute to the exploration of promising food intake biomarkers.

Researcher within “Prille start – De voeding van moeder en kind” (funded by Regiodeal FoodValley). We aim to develop and optimize app-based tools to assess dietary intake among pregnant women, young mothers and/or their children, and coach them towards a healthier food intake.

Co-promotor of Desiree Lucassen who develops and evaluates a dietary assessment app for nutrition and health research (funded through Smart Food Intake, AF-16096).

Co-promotor of Katherine Li who examines potential food intake biomarkers for fermented food intake (funded through Cardioferment by Wageningen University and Agroscope Bern).

Co-promotor of Janine Faessen who develops and evaluates apps to coach pregnant, lactating women and their children towards more healthy food choices by means of more personalized advices (funded through Regiodeal FoodValley).

Co-promotor of Novita Naomi who explores potential biomarkers for the intake of sugars and sweeteners, and related associations met cardiometabolic health and mortality in adults (funded through EU SWEET, 774293).

Co-promotor Marion Buso who explores potential biomarkers for the intake of sugars and sweeteners, and their associations with health throughout the life course (funded through EU SWEET, 774293).

Co-promotor Wout van Orten-Luiten who investigates the impact of medication use on circulating micronutrient concentrations (PanDeMics-project).