Food Process Development Research Group
Developing processes and products with the aim of optimising the composition of value-determining ingredients in food and beverages.
The Food Process Development research group deals with extraction and roasting technologies, bio-transformation processes, and the development of new processes in food production.
The aim of our work is to understand how microorganisms, enzyme activities and changes in process parameters influence the formation of aroma components. This helps us to better select specific raw materials for developing and improving processes, as well as for optimising the quality and shelf life of food.
Using in-process sensory, physical and chemical analysis, we can identify parameters that allow us to manage the yield of ingredients and systematically improve the overall process from the harvest of raw materials to delivery to satisfied customers.
In collaboration with industry and other research partners, we work on process innovations and turn them into prototypes, with an increasing focus on projects such as automation and self-optimisation of food processes.
Using a system-and-results-oriented approach, and in close consultation with our clients, we focus on the following steps.
Process development starts with a problem description, and a subsequent system analysis using methods for inventive problem solving, focusing on topics such as the yield of ingredients, extraction, biotransformation, roasting and preservation, with particular importance being attached to the prototyping phase. We specialise in areas such as: chocolate, fruit and vegetable juices, wine, soft drinks, tea, coffee, herbal and spice essences, and olive oil. When analysing the functionality of ingredients and their relevant physical and chemical parameters, and evaluating customer satisfaction, we subject our prototypes to various tests using modern online sensory technology and the latest measuring techniques.
We focus on the following three main topics:
- Origin and development of aroma components: Research into the origin of desired and undesired aroma components and their precursory stages in food and beverages.
- Extraction of value-determining ingredients: Extraction of value-determining ingredients (flavours, biologically-active substances) which originate from raw plant-and-animal materials.
- Process and product innovation: Development and evaluation of food production and preservation processes.