Artturi Virtanen


Artturi Ilmari Virtanen

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Artturi Ilmari Virtanen
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1945

Born: 15 January 1895, Helsinki, Russian Empire (now Finland)

Died: 11 November 1973, Helsinki, Finland

Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

Prize motivation: “for his research and inventions in agricultural and nutrition chemistry, especially for his fodder preservation method”

Prize share: 1/1


Access to nutritious food year round, especially in countries with cold winters, requires that the nutrients in food are preserved. Artturi Virtanen studied the chemistry of nutrients, including that in processes for dairy products. In 1932 he developed a method for better preserving the nutrients in hay. Using hydrochloric and sulfuric acids, he impeded certain processes, preserving the grass' proteins and vitamins. This helped cows produce more nutritious milk year round without imported fodder.

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