Center for Applied Food Research

It is expected that the world’s population will increase to 9 billion people in the next 35 years – but usable land area for growing food will remain the same. So other ways must be found to feed us. We have to find other sources of raw materials for vital substances such as proteins, essential fatty acids (among them omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA), amino acids and vitamins so we can maintain a healthy diet. And, above all, we urgently need to create new opportunities to ensure enough healthy food for every part of the world.

Additionally, consumers are becoming more critical of food products, their manufacturing and composition. Many people nowadays are sensitive or even allergic to synthetic food additives. Therefore, the trend in food research, in addition to “organic,” is moving toward “clean label” products, i.e. those without artificial substances (aromas, antioxidants, stabilizers, preservatives, etc.).

The Fraunhofer EMB utilizes marine biotechnology to investigate purposefully the use of biologically active substances of aquatic origin for food technology.

For this purpose, a “Technical Center for Applied Food Research” (abbreviated TFAL) was created. So new ideas can be processed – from the (aquatic) source of raw materials to the final product. Here, EMB scientists and engineers work with their industrial partners to develop food products and their additives along the value chain: From developing new (alternative and sustainable) sources of raw materials and isolating substances all the way to prototype and find product development. The TFAL is equipped with devices and equipment used in food chemistry, technology and industry on a laboratory scale. Thus the TFAL serves as a multifunctional research platform for raw-material manufacturers and users alike in the food industry.

Based on the industry’s problems, the Fraunhofer EMB is using its ideas and expertise to develop the food of the future.

What is the TFAL?

The TFAL serves as a multifunctional research platform for raw-material manufacturers and users of the food industry in equal measure. Modern and multifunctional, the TFAL is equipped with various kinds of equipment and technologies used in food research and food economics; thanks to its wealth of ideas and expertise, it is creating the food of the future with the industry as its cooperation partner.

What does the TFAL do?

The TFAL of the Fraunhofer EMB supports the food industry as an applied research platform for and with aquatic raw materials. Research begins by identifying, extracting and purifying interesting raw-material components of aquatic origin and ends with the manufacturing of initial food prototypes, in which the newly developed raw materials/food additives can be used and functionally analyzed immediately. In this, almost any field of food manufacturing and a large selection of food groups can be considered. Whether the projects involve fermented foods, dairy products, bread, cakes and pastries in general, meat products or beverages – we are quite diversified and capable of adapting our R&D setting to the research project in a very short time.

What does the TFAL have?

The TFAL boasts a basic facility executed 100% in stainless steel. All working surfaces in the TFAL are designed according to the hygiene standards of the food processing industry.

The TFAL’s equipment, in addition to simple laboratory instruments like pipettes, beakers and Petri dishes, includes the following equipment:

  • Soxhlet rotary evaporator, standard distillation, muffle furnace, various stirrers and homogenizers
  • pH titrator, KF titrator, texture analyzer, viscosimeter, bioreactors (2 x 1,5 l)
  • Refractometer, N2 storage tank
  • Vacuum and freeze-drying systems

Neben der Laborgrundausstattung steht eine komplette lebensmitteltechnologische Ausstattung mit thermischer Verarbeitungsstrecke nach den Standards der Großküchentechnik zur Verfügung:

  • Induction cooker 
  • Grill (size: 2/1 GN)
  • Dual basin deep fryer
  • Combination steamer (6 x 1/1 GN)

Appliances for manufacturing sausages, smoked products, ice cream, and much more are also available, along with extensive cell culture and cryotechnology equipment.

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