Plant-based food production

The focus is on development of scientific understanding, solutions and technologies enabling transition to a future food system which is sustainable, secure, and resilient.

This includes targeted scientific challenges and research revolving around diversification of plant protein resources via developing sustainable protein extraction technologies for novel biomasses and side streams, removal of unwanted nutrients and improving flavor profiles of plant proteins.

It also includes structuring and texturization of alternative proteins using innovative processing technologies e.g, extrusion and 3D printing to accelerate the shift towards alternative proteins.

Biobased polymers and food packaging which covers the development of active packaging material for food preservation and detoxification are also included.

 

Sustainable biomass fractionation and protein extraction

Proteins are a minor fraction in plant biomasses surrounded by fibers where polyphenols, anti-nutrients, fat and other unwanted components coexist. Therefore, fractionation of plant raw materials and up-concentrating proteins is necessary for better functionality, nutritional value and sensorial acceptance.

Finding milder fractionation technologies which creates a balance between purification and of waste streams but also removing unwanted antinutrients and improving flavor profile and functionality is the focus of our group. A wide range of plant biomasses e.g. legumes, oat, wheat and algae are on focus as alternative protein sources.

The group has access to a full setup for extraction, downstream processing and characterization of proteins from structural, nutritional, techno-functional and flavor perspective.

Students

Tamar Manouel, MSc student

Structure and texture design with sustainable processing

Structuring alternative proteins to resemble the texture and sensorial properties conventionally provided by unsustainable animal proteins in foods is challenging. We focuse on innovative technologies such as HM extrusion and 3D printing for developing fibrous, layered and anisotropic food structures from alternative proteins.

Development of hybrid plant-based meat, seafood and dairy analogues from less refined ingredients but with improved sensorial properties is targeted.

A unique low footprint and custom made 12 mm lab scale extruder equipped with a wide range of cooling dies for both dry and high moisture extrusion trials in a food grade lab is available. Further equipment development on a flexible and multi-material food 3D printer is ongoing.

Students

Mikaela Isabel Badager, MSc student

Biobased ingredients, biopolymers and packaging

Development of green technologies for extraction of biobased ingredients especially marine collagens and improving their properties for application as a biomaterial or nutraceutical is in our focus.

Development of novel packaging materials which are more environmentally friendly or active materials which can improve food stability or quality is targeted. Packaging materials for food detoxification are major focus now.