Evaluation of food quality throughout the vegetable processing chain


Combined brand VLAIO-FlandersFood-NL-v1 (002).png


VeggieChainVeggieChain is a collective, fundamental research project (type SBO) whose main objective is to gain more knowledge on the changes in nutritional and sensory properties during the different process steps in the vegetable processing chain.

Brussels sprouts and leek have been selected as commercially relevant vegetables for Flanders. They are rich in important health-promoting components and they have a very typical flavour profile. VeggieChain will use both targeted and non-targeted analytical methods in combination with multivariate data analysis (MVDA) techniques and kinetic modelling. Regarding the health aspect, the research will focus on the conservation of concentrations in health-promoting components and the effect of certain variables as part of the digestive system.

As one of the partners, VEG-i-TEC is involved in the upscaling and validation of the research on a relevant pilot-scale, especially considering the impact of different parameters related to the blanching and freezing processes on the product and the (energy) efficiency of the processes themselves. This should facilitate the implementation of the project results in an industrial context.

Various sectors in the agro-food industry can benefit from this project. The vegetable processing industry in Flanders (in particular frozen vegetables) will have a better understanding of the effect of processing on vegetable quality, which will enable them to produce higher-quality processed vegetables. This will increase consumption of processed (frozen) vegetables in Flanders and Europe, which will lead to a larger turnover. Innovation in this sector is important to solidify Flanders’ position as the market leader in Europe. Open-air vegetable cultivation will also take further root in Flanders thanks to the current cultivation contracts between farmers and the processing industry. In addition, the prepared meals sector will, along with catering companies and restaurants, benefit from the project results as regeneration (as a processing stage of the chain) will also be studied extensively. Finally, the project consortium will also target technology suppliers and machine manufacturers to optimise their technologies and implement the results with their customers.




  • Duration: September 2020 – August 2024
  • Coordinator: KU Leuven


Prof. Sampers