Expertises of Wageningen Food & Biobased Research Wageningen Food & Biobased uses the areas of expertise listed below to create innovative and real-world applicable solutions that contribute to a healthier and more sustainable planet. BioSensing and diagnostics The development of diagnostic assays, the implementation of newly developed diagnostic assays in the workplace or solutions for safety and/or quality issues. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has more than 30 years of experience in BioSensing and Diagnostics. Computer Vision and Robotics for the agri-food industry This expertise is focussed on non-destructive sensing, machine learning, automation and robotics. We apply advanced computer vision and robotics technologies to applied problems in agri-food processes. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is a global leader in the development of technological solutions for the automated quality inspection of agri-food products. Consumer research on nutritional behaviour How do consumers make dietary choices and how can these choices be influenced? Experts of Wageningen Food & Biobased Research are conducting research into choice behaviour among specific target groups, focussing on the taste experience of various products and the effects of diets on well-being and health. Sustainable and circular chemistry A truly circular economy is based on renewable chemicals and materials that are not only designed for specific applications, but that can also be efficiently recycled or converted into new raw materials after use. We call this Circular by Design. With Sustainable & Circular Chemistry, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research aims to achieve sustainable chemistry. Renewable raw materials are converted into compounds and materials for the circular economy. Sustainable plastics technology Within the expertise field “Sustainable Plastics Technology” our goal is to develop materials, processes and products that lower the ecological footprint of plastic products. For this purpose we work with biobased plastics but we also have a strong focus on optimizing end-of-life options via mechanical recycling or organic recycling. Our ultimate goal is a circular plastics economy where plastics are biobased, recyclable and do not accumulate in nature. We closely cooperate with industry during the developmental phases of our research and we help industry to implement new materials and technologies. Efficient separation and purification of wet streams Companies are looking for cost-effective processes to separate and purify valuable components from wet residual streams from bioprocesses, such as fermentation and biorefinery. Examples include food ingredients (such as aromatic and flavouring substances), biochemicals (such as fatty acids or proteins) and biofuels. For each question, we carry out research and development aimed at finding the most appropriate combination of techniques for optimal downstream processing. In this way, we make an important contribution to a sustainable and circular economy. Protein technology Protein is the key ingredient in our foods and diets. It’s not only important to the nutritional value, but also determines structure and texture. At Wageningen University and Research we improve the functionality of plant proteins, and apply these to make better plant-based foods. Fermentation technology for sustainable chemicals and food ingredients Fermentation of AgriFood substrates is a perfect sustainable alternative for the production of specific chemicals and food ingredients that are currently manufactured from fossil sources. Together with industrial partners, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is developing the most cost-effective route towards the optimal fermentation process that meets the customer demand. Smart decisions via food informatics Which food products are sustainable, healthy, safe and economically viable? How do you tailor a recipe perfectly to the needs of a target group? Wageningen Food & Biobased Research imagines and creates functional software solutions with predictive capabilities that allow food producers and consumers to make well-considered decisions about complex issues. Biomass fractionation Wageningen Food & Biobased Research develops viable routes for the production of food ingredients, sustainable materials and chemicals from biomass. For this, we develop new mild separation and fractionation concepts and design technological processes that aim at high-quality products. Biopolymer functionalisation and characterisation Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is specialised in characterising and improving the functional properties of various biopolymers, from lignin and cellulose to pectin and proteins. We do this for producers of biobased products and for biomass suppliers who want to get more value from residual streams. Supply Chain Development and logistic design of fresh food chains Wageningen Food & Biobased Research develops and implements knowledge to help the worldwide food sector build integrated, sustainable and circular fresh food supply chains, reducing product - and quality losses and optimising the logistics of the supply chain. Clinical trials on food The demand for foods with proven health effects, such as improved intestinal or muscle health, is increasing. Wageningen University & Research offers clinical nutrition trials which allow the food industry to scientifically substantiate the health effects of products and ingredients. Postharvest physiology Wageningen Food & Biobased Research investigates the biological processes involved in the ripening and senescence of agricultural and horticultural products after harvest. Knowledge of these processes is translated into new treatments and storage and transport methods to prevent loss of quality and profit in the distribution chain. Research into food and health Wageningen Food & Biobased Research provides a comprehensive platform for monitoring the impact of food on human health at various levels. This research is based on laboratory work, studying important components and processes within the digestive system and interactions with the rest of the body. When researching the impacts on health, it is crucial that nutrients are accurately characterised and that they can be isolated where necessary. This research is also used to support businesses in relation to laws and regulations around Novel Food dossiers and health claims. Postharvest technologies Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has the very latest expertise and technologies at its disposal to keep fruit, vegetables and floriculture products fresh for longer. This ranges from advice for improving storage and conditioned transport to the development of refrigeration technologies and sustainable plant treatment methods such as CATT. Experts from Wageningen advise companies on how to preserve the quality of fresh produce without detriment to the environment. Product development and reformulation Developing methods and techniques to assist food producers in improving their products, with the aim of putting better and/or healthier alternatives into their product range. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research experts have gained a great deal of experience, specifically with bakery, dairy, plant-based products and meat products. System analysis and chain design for the biobased economy The transition from a fossil economy to a circular, biobased economy poses difficult questions for companies. What about the availability of biomass, for example? Which infrastructure is already present and which links are still missing? And with which parties can feasible new production chains be formed? With system analysis and chain design, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research maps out realistic opportunities and risks of circular, biobased production processes. Next to this, we help companies and governments to take this step. Applied Food Microbiology Micro-organisms poses challenges for the stability and safety of food products and are an important cause of food loss. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research helps manufacturers develop anti-microbial solutions that ensure the highest possible safety and quality standards and extend shelf life. Food Processing Technology Safe, innovative and efficient food processing, while maintaining quality and sustainable use of natural resources and side streams. Experts of Wageningen Food & Biobased Research are working together with the food industry to achieve this aim. Separating and purifying From food and energy to the chemical industry, companies in all sectors are looking for opportunities to introduce biobased products, materials and building blocks onto the market. The high costs of product reprocessing and water treatment (downstream processing) are often a bottleneck, however. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research integrates current and new technologies that separate and purify valuable components from biomass in an economically viable way.