Prof. Haroutounian is born in Athens and received his B.Sc. degree of Chemistry from the University of Patras. He pursued doctoral studies through collaboration between the Agricultural University of Athens (AUA) and the University of Illinois (U of I) and carried out postdoctoral research in the USA with Prof. J.A. Katzenellenbogen. After serving two years the Greek Navy, in 1989 he joined the AUA faculty as Lecturer, while during 1992–93 he returned to the U of I as visiting professor. In 2002 he was promoted to AUA professor at the Laboratory of Nutritional Physiology and Feeding, while from 2018-19 he served as elected vice-rector of AUA for Academic, Administrative and Student Affairs. In 2019 he was appointed chairman of the board of directors of HAO-DEMETER, a position he also served during the period 2013-15.
His research is focused on the Chemistry of Natural and Synthetic Bioactive Compounds, with specific interest in the development of novel bioactive preparations for utilization as food additives, functional foods, biocides and medicines for humans-animals. He has authored 148 articles published in international scientific journals-books and holds two patents. He is the editor of one international scientific journal and editorial board member of three journals. His research projects and activities concern the development of novel bioactive preparations, the circular economy, the development of the rural sector of Greece and the mitigation of climate change consequences. In this context, he has coordinated the successful implementation of 32 research projects, funded by the EU, the Greek government and private companies. Currently, he coordinates the implementation of six research projects. In 2008, his project DIONYSOS was awarded by the EU as best of the best environmental project of the year.

He has participated in numerous Greek and EU committees, assembled for the establishment of research frameworks and the development of the agro-industrial and agro-food sectors. He has collaborated with cooperatives and regions of Greece on issues concerning the rural development and the exploitation of traditional Greek products. These initiatives have provided data for the singularity recognition of various local agricultural products with particular historical and economical interest, such as the fava and tomataki of Santorini, tsipouro of Tyrnavos, kashkaval and tsalafouti cheeses, which led to their certification as PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) or PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) products. Currently, he is collaborating with the Regions of Northern Aegean and Epirus for the certification of five traditional agricultural products.

Topic: What ELGO Dimitra does to address food security in Greece’s agrifood chain