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Facilities

Facilities

Department of Food Science has at our disposal modern analytical equipment and in more cases unique research and cultivation facilities which make it possible to carry out research throughout the whole food system; from field to fork, including the health-related and sensory properties of the food.

We also have a major focus on sustainability along the food system e.g. losses during production, utilization of side streams during processing, new packaging solutions and reducing food waste at the consumers.

The scientists and technical staff of the department are highly specialised within a number of analytical and cultivation methods which makes us a valuable collaborator in both national and international scientific partnerships.  

Research facilities at AU Aarslev

AU Aarslev is the field research site for production of fruit, berries, vegetables, herbs and medicinal plants. The research site has ca 80 hectares of research fields, including an organic area of ca. 20 hectares for cultivation of fruit and vegetables in designed field experiments. On site is specialized field based machinery to cultivate a range of crops, for example the main Danish commodities of onion, root vegetables, cabbages and legume pulses; pip and stone fruits, black currants and strawberries, in addition to new speciality crops. In addition field analytical equipment, such as minirhizotrons for root studies is available together with facilities for grading, quality determinations, drying and cool storage of the horticultural crops.

For further information, please contact:

Hanne Lakkenborg Kristensen ( Science Team Leader for Plant, Food & Sustainability)  ) 

Research facilities at Agro Food Park, Aarhus

The department scientists at AU Agro Food Park carry out research across a range of food products, but have leading expertise in milk, eggs, meat, fruit and vegetables, their composition and quality and the effect of different production, processing and storage parameters. Agro Food Park is also the home for controlled climate and glasshouse based plant production research. Agro Food Park also hold the specialized facilities and research activities linked to sensory science, and metabolomics.

To support the chemistry and technology-based research, the department has a large range of mass spectrometry and chromatography instruments, together with laboratories for analyzing structure and functionality of foods and packaging materials. The department also has a food and ingredient pilot processing plant including a range of emerging technologies.

The department also has a state-of-the-art 2,500 m2 glasshouse (12 compartments), 6 walk in climate chambers, multilayer cultivation rooms with LED lights, storage and postharvest facilities and many specialized laboratories to support plant based analysis.

The department has low-field and high-field NMR (600 MHz), and a transcriptomic-platform (Affymetrix) to underpin the metabolomic research analysis of biofluids and food samples.

 

Furthermore, the department has an advanced preparative kitchen, interactive discussion room and 14 booth sensory facility to support product design, product development and multisensory analysis of foods.

For further information, please contact:

Lars Wiking (Science Team Leader, Food Chemisty & Technology)
Jette F. Young (Science Team Leader, Differentiated & Biofuncitonal Food)

Derek V. Byrne (Science Team Leader, Food Quality, Perception & Society)

Ivan A. Paponov (Science Team Leader, Plant, Food & Climate)


Metabolomics

At the Department of Food Science, metabolomics facilities based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry (MS) have been established. The NMR-based metabolomics facilities consist of a 600 MHz high-field NMR spectrometer equipped with an autosampler.

Food and the metabolic response when eating food are both characterised by having a high complexity. Metabolomics constitute the entire profile of metabolites, i.e. nutrients and metabolic products.

At the Department of Food Science, metabolomics analyses on bio fluids (blood and urine) and cell cultures are carried out in order to exploratively map the biochemical effects of different diets, feedings, effects etc. NMR-based metabolomics is also used to analyse metabolites and contents in various food articles (meat, vegetables, milk and dairy products) to better understand the relation between the characteristics of the food (raw food and product quality), its sensory quality and the nutritional response upon intake.

The department has ongoing projects in which NMR-based metabolomics is applied to:

  • examine the metabolic response related to intake of different dairy products, including probiotic-containing products
  • examine the metabolic profile of cows as a function of allocation of varying nitrogen level in the feed
  • examine the metabolic response of muscle cells under different stress exposures.

For further information, please contact 

Jette F. Young (Science Team Leader, Differentiated & Biofuncitonal Food)

Sensory analysis

The Department of Food Science has at its disposal sensory facilities for sensory profiling and difference testing for evaluating the sensory quality of different foods as well as for consumer tests.

These facilities are according to the ISO standard and comprise sensory booths, kitchen facilities, a discussion room and an electronic data collection of sensory data.

A trained, permanent sensory panel consisting of approx. 25 persons is associated with the department, and consumer panels can be made use of as required.

A sensory network is established across the research units at the Department of Food Science.

It is the aim of the network to integrate sensory science in the determination of the sensory quality of foods.

The sensory facilities are located at Agro Food Par, Aarhus N.

In our on-going projects sensory analysis is used for studying the following:

  • Sensory quality of milk in relation to feed composition and cow breed
  • Correlation between sensory quality of various potatoes and root vegetables in relation to applications and suitability in the kitchen
  • Sensory quality of organic and conventional vegetables
  • Children’s preferences for healthier foods and how a step-wise change in preferences can take place
  • Off-flavour in bread in relation to the use of enzymes and storage
  • Sensory variation of beer produced from various types of hops
  • Sensory variation of sour cherry juice in relation to type

For further information, please contact  

Derek V. Byrne (Science Team Leader, Food Quality, Perception & Society)