Efficient & Sustainable Food Production Chains

At the food process engineering department, we’re all looking for novel and more sustainable food ingredients and processes. We want both a great functionality and a low environmental impact. To really know whether our solutions are sustainable, we need to look at the complete supply chain. If we don’t do that, we might end up with a sub-optimal solution and shift the environmental burden to another link in the supply chain. Food processing, including pre-processing or purification of ingredients, has a big impact on the sustainability of what we eat. We need to find out how to balance functionality and purity of our ingredients. This project is about analysing the way we process our foods, to find out how to engineer the most efficient production chain.

Efficient protein foods

This PhD project takes place in the public-private partnership Plant Meat Matters, that has the aim to produce a novel plant-based meat replacer. Therefore the main focus is on efficient processing of plant proteins.


Methods like exergy analysis and life cycle assessment (LCA) are used to identify inefficiencies in the processing chains and quantify sustainability. Nutritional quality and functionality of the resulting foods is not forgotten. Operations research methods are applied to optimize when decision-making is not straight-forward.

Interested to know more or collaborate? Please contact the PhD student Nynke Draijer.