Joke Sierens

PhD Student

Joke-sierens.jpgJoke Sierens researches the impact of cold plasma on proteins. Cold plasma is a novel food preservation technique which shows promising results in microbial preservation. It’s an attractive technique because the decontamination is not based on heat. In plasma, reactive species with an oxidative nature are formed causing microbial inactivation. However, those reactive species may also impact lipids and proteins,  namely by oxidation. Protein and lipid oxidation can lead to quality deterioration or the formation of contaminants. Researching the effect on cold plasma treatments on proteins is therefore important before this technique can be commercialized for foods.

Joke Sierens graduated in 2021 as bioscience engineer Food Science and Nutrition. During her master thesis she researched lipid oxidation caused by cold plasma treatments, using fatty acid methyl esters as a model. She is continuing the cold plasma research at the NutriFOODchem group as a PhD candidate focusing on the impact of cold plasma on proteins. This PhD is part of a GOA-BOF project: a collaboration of RUPT (Faculty of Engineering and Architecture), FMPFP Research Unit and NutriFOODchem (both Faculty of Bioscience Engineering).