About us

Qualitative, safe, healthy and sustainable food is a central theme within the Department of Food Technology, Safety and Health. More than half of the most important risk factors influencing human health are food related

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A health and well-being oriented lifestyle impacts the way we eat. There is a large diversity of fresh and (minimal) processed food and food ingredients being offered at the local and global food market. The food supply chain evolves to encompass a multitude of short or long(er) networks.

The Department of Food Technology, Safety and Health is active in various disciplines in food science, contributing to a sustainable and healthy food system.

The challenges in food transition are multiple:

  • towards a circular economy of food and focus on the valorization of by-products in the food chain
  • protein transition for a more plant-based diet
  • product formulation seeking for less sugar, salt, fats and clean label products
  • technological innovation in food productions processes with optimized cost/benefit
  • reduce food losses, reduce food packaging
  • food industry digitalization

The food industry, their suppliers, the civil society and policies on different levels work on the food of the future taking into account the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Our Department engages in research, services and the education of a (young) generation of students. We think a broad professional expertise in food technology, food safety and healthy food is important and essential to produce food in another and ‘better’ way and accessible to everyone (from field to plate).

Topics

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Topics 2019 (pdf)

Impact

  • Build knowledge from basic research to innovation trajectories (through Research)
    A spearhead of the research is to strive to problem solving capacity, excellence and to counteract ‘research waste’.
    Often promising basic research results are validated and technologies, products or processes are further optimized first in smaller lab-scale studies and afterwards in pilot or field studies with the intention of turning research efforts into transferable product or process innovation to the benefit of the food industry and society.
  • Share and spread knowledge (through education and services)
    • to develop and maintain high quality educational programs and lifelong training programs (both at national and international level) in the domain of food science and nutrition or food technology.
    • To support food safety authorities, food policy makers or NGOs or industry associations in risk assessment and evidence-based decision making by participation as expert in scientific committees, advisory boards or ad hoc working groups
    • to raise awareness with consumers on the state-of-the-art of research in food science and nutrition and to contribute to clear communication on food (processing) and health.

Tenured Staff

Tanja Cirkovic Velickovic Food chemistry
Bruno De Meulenaer Food chemistry, chemical analysis of food products, chemical aspects of food safety
Jan De Smet General chemistry and biology, biochemistry and metabolic cell processes
Frank Devlieghere microbial aspects of food preservation, microbial spoilage mechanisms, mould spoilage, predictive microbiology, food packaging as a preservation technology
Koen Dewettinck Food technology and processes
Mia Eeckhout Food sciences, corn, baking and feed technology; dough rheology
Sam Van Haute Food technology and processes
Liesbeth Jacxsens Quality assurance in agri-food chain, food safety management systems, risk analysis, microbiological and chemical risk assessment
Patrick Kolsteren Food epidemiology, human food and health
Carl Lachat Nutrition epidemiology, nutrition and health, nutrition policy
Katleen Raes Fermentation processes, enzymatic conversions, valorisation of by-products, fermented food, bioactive components
Peter Ragaert Packing technology of food products
Andreja Rajkovic Food safety, food microbiology, microbial toxins, virulence
Imca Sampers Chemical and microbiological quality of food and water, Process water technology, Food technology (specifically for the vegetable and potato processing industry)
Benedikt Sas Innovation management in the agro-food industry, Intellectual property and valorisation, R&D Management, corporate management
Mieke Uyttendaele Microbial analysis of food, Food hygiene, Microbial aspects of food safety, Molecular techniques in food microbiology
Filip Van Bockstaele Food Technology, director Vandemoortele Center for Lipid Science & Technology
John Van Camp Food science, human nutrition, nutrition and health