Written by: Evelien Vaessen
The first day of visits started very early. Around 6:30 we left Montreal and drove to Quebec City for our visit to Laval University. Upon arrival at the campus we were welcomed by our host Maria and the day started with an introduction about the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF) by prof Yves Desjardins. He explained about their three research pillars: bioactive molecules, process & technology and nutrition and health. Just like WUR, they also do a lot of research together with companies. After this introduction Remko introduced WUR and FPE. The first session continued with presentations by prof Yves Pouliot about eco efficiency in dairy processing and the emulsion cluster presentation by Anja.
During the coffee break we had some house made sweets. After the break we continued with the presentations about separations, the coffee worked well apparently because more and more questions were being asked and the presentation of prof Laurent Bazinet about electromembranes processes led to a lively discussion. Nynke and Floor gave a nice overview about the food structuring research and Dimitri introduced the novel ingredients after which prof Alain Doyen presented his interesting research about emerging food processing technologies such as the use of microalgae for the production of GOS from whey permeate.
After a kindly provided lunch we had a poster session to discuss our research with the students and profs of INAF. While digesting our lunch, Andrea introduced the digestion research and after that Jan-Eise explained the drying projects of our group. The next lively presentation from INAF by prof Cristina Ratti, “the queen of shrinkage”, and her PhD students was about drying projects at INAF. Last but not least was the presentation by Sylvie Turgeon about food structure and protein/polysaccharide functionality. All in all, there were a lot of similarities in our research interests which resulted in a very interesting presentation session.
After the presentation session we got a nice purple lab coat and visited their pilot plant and laboratories. In the pilot plant they produce among others cheese and bread a nd their lab was a very big space in which all of them shared the equipment that was available.
Before going for a beer and dinner we received a nice present from Laval University and thanked them for their hospitality. On our way to the bar we spotted the first Canadian wildlife: a marmot. For the Canadians this was not special at all, but our group made a lot of pictures from this animal. At the end of our visit we had a beer and a nice dinner. After this dinner we left Laval University and went to our hotel in Saint Hyacinth by bus.