Biochemical analysis

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is specialised in biochemical analysis of bioactive compounds as part of product development. These analyses are an important first step in the development of healthier, safer and tastier food products.

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research works with companies in the food industry to develop tasty, healthy and safe food products. To this aim several biochemical methods are developed and applied making use of technologies such as:

  • HPLC
  • FT-IR
  • GC-MS
  • PTR-MS

It allows us to help our clients make carefully considered decisions in:

  • Developing tasty, healthy, safe and durable products;
  • Determining which information should go on the label;
  • The potential use of health and nutrition claims.

Vitamins, sugars and amino acids

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has extensive experience in the biochemical analysis of vitamins, sugars and amino acids in a wide variety of products. A recent example is the collaboration with a number of companies, in which we studied the content of glucosinolates in various types of cabbage. Glucosinolates are compounds that are held responsible for the positive health effects of cabbage varieties. We also looked at the effects of mild preservation techniques on these compounds present in broccoli. Similarly we study polysaccharides/fibres molecular weight and composition and effect of origin, isolation methods and processing.

Another example is the analysis of volatiles in fruit. Ethylene is an important component in the ripening process, and other volatiles such as ethyl benzoate have an impact on taste. Using biochemical analysis we measure the presence of volatiles and correlate it to the taste and ripening of the product. Based on the results, companies can make a more well-founded decision on, for instance, the selection of varieties during breeding or to select them for specific targeted application, select harvesting time and study the effects of packaging, transport, storage and processing on taste and quality.

Follow-up research

Biochemical analysis is often the first step in research into the healthiness, taste and safety of products. The fact that a product contains a certain component does not necessarily indicate its health-promoting effects and safety. For this reason analysis of bioactive compounds is, in our projects, often followed up and combined with other types of research, such as:

  • Safety analysis;
  • Taste panel and consumer preference
  • Study compounds levels to relate to advised doses to come to declarations of health claims
  • Bioactivity measurements
  • Study digestibility and stability
  • Study bioavailability
  • Human intervention studies
  • Product development
  • Develop new packaging concepts
  • ]Study effects of conservation

Product development support

With our analyses, we support companies in the development of healthier, better products. Examples of our research include:

  • Phenolic compounds in mushrooms
  • The bioavailability of compounds in cherry juice
  • The analysis of immune modulating polysaccharides
  • Flavour compounds in broccoli and carrots.