We would be interested in entering a consortium around a biorefinery for microalgae. We have expertise on several topics
- harvesting using flocculation
- stability during wet storage (lipolysis)
- extraction of lipids
- application of biomass / oil for food / feed applications
The laboratory Food & Lipids (KULeuven Kulak) concentrates her research on the lipid (fat) fraction of food stuffs. On the one hand, lipids are often under pressure from a health conscious point of view but on the other hand they are essential for the sensory (e.g. taste), nutritional (e.g. essential fatty acids, fat soluble vitamins) and technological (e.g. spreadibility) properties of fat rich food products. The mission of the laboratory is thus to conduct research facilitating the production of healthy/ier fat rich food products without compromising the taste or the technological functionality.
A first research line focuses on new sources of nutritionally interesting lipids. Current focus is on the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, although work is also done on (phyto)sterols, carotenoids and other lipid-soluble antioxidants. Current focus is on autotrophic microalgae as a new source, but work is also done on other sources such as waste streams. The research investigates the possibilities of the different sources (from a composition point of view) and how they can be applied in food stuffs and nutraceuticals (downstream processing).
A second research line deals with fat crystallization and the influence on the technological properties of fat rich food products.