General Expension of analytical capabilities: rapid and mobile analytical equipment for developing high-quality, sustainable food

Chromatography equipment

Are you working as a food company, food lab or researcher to make our food system more sustainable? ILVO is expanding its guidance capabilities for the sector by further focusing on fast, mobile and in-depth analytical techniques.

In the Fast-analab project, we are investing in analytical equipment that allows mobile analysis with the aim of developing high-quality, sustainable food. This analysis equipment will help to support innovations at food companies, resulting in a greater diversity of sustainable, protein-rich products. This objective is part of the Flemish Protein Strategy and contributes to the Smart Specialization Strategy of Flanders.

First, there are many challenges involved in expanding the cultivation of more protein crops on Flemish fields and then optimizing them to become sustainable in cultivation. To determine how sustainable the cultivations are, greenhouse gas emissions (such as N2O) from the soil need to be measured. One of the mobile analysis devices purchased within this project will measures these GHG emissions.

Second, protein diversification means that people will consume more new proteins. These need to be tasty, high-quality and safe for consumption before being marketed and consumed. The in-depth analysis of protein quality requires advanced analytical techniques (LC-HRMS), which will also be purchased within the project.

Third, the knowledge from the LC-HRMS results will generate one of the many data sets. This knowledge will be the basis to develop rapid and mobile measurement techniques based on spectral data. The purchase of a mobile spectrophotometer is therefore also included in the project. This equipment is used for quality control throughout the process of cultivation and processing, and helps to optimize each step.

The ILVO living labs will use this research infrastructure to support co-creation and innovation in food companies.

The Fast-analab project runs from August 2023 to December 2023, with funding from ERDF resources and FIO co-financing.

ILVO contacts:

Peter Maenhout: for questions on greenhouse gas emissions

Christof Van Poucke: for questions on composition of new protein crops

Simon Cool: for questions on developing rapid screening methods based on spectrophotometric data

EFRO - Agentschap Innoveren en Ondernemen
Europese Unie

See also