Kinetic Modeling

Models, which are simplifications of the real world, attempt to predict the behavior of a system, based on the knowledge about properties of the systems’ components.

Kinetic modeling is a useful tool which gives a better understanding of mechanisms of reactions. Models described in literature (for example models of reactions of hydrolysis) are based on continuous equations or empirical reactions, but it is also possible to apply stochastic models. More information about models can be found in “Kinetic modeling of reactions in foods” (Martinus A.J.S van Boekel, CRC Press, 2009).

The aim of this project is to obtain models that describe different aspects of enzymatic hydrolysis of starch, milk proteins and arabinoxylans.

Research Approach
Starch hydrolysis models require comparison (fitting) with data obtained from actual hydrolysis experiments. Our task is liquefaction of starch, for which we apply α-amylase from Bacillus licheniformis. In our department several projects connected with this topic were already completed (PhD theses of T. Baks, M. van der Veen and L.M. Marchal), but there are still many aspects that remain unexplored.
This project will start with hydrolysis of low concentrated starch solutions (10% w/w) in order to predict (create a model of) the trends in formation of saccharides of DP < 300. Afterwards we would like to develop a sustainable method which would allow hydrolysis of concentrated starch dispersions (60%) and subsequently make attempts to model that system. Since from the industrial point of view full degradation of starch is a major issue as well, we want to introduce glucoamylase as a second enzyme in order to obtain the polysaccharides’ complete saccharification.
Further on we plan to support other ongoing projects (hydrolysis of milk proteins, multi-enzyme breakdown of arabinoxylans) by creating models based on data obtained by our colleagues.