Food Science

The food science research at ILVO covers the entire food production chain: from primary agricultural and fisheries products to the processed product, ready for consumption. The research disciplines are microbiological and chemical food safety, product innovation, product quality and authenticity. For each of these research areas, ILVO has analysis labs. We also perform technological research via pilot tests for dairy and meat products, vegetables, fruit and ready-to-eat food products (Food Pilot).

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Food Safety

Food safetyOur food safety research focuses on the management of microbiological and chemical safety of plant and animal foodstuffs. The goals is prevention and thus consumer protection. ILVO measures residues, pathogens and spoilage organisms in food. At the same time, the researchers test and develop the analysis methods themselves. We also seek out the sources of contamination or infection.

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Product Authenticity

Product authenticityLabelling regulations apply to animal and plant-derived food products and also animal feed. Scientific analyses of the authenticity or accuracy of the composition or processing of the product form the basis for monitoring and where necessary, fighting fraud. ILVO develops detection strategies and analysis methods for the authenticity of milk and dairy products, the water content of chicken meat, and allergens. We also do GMO characterization; the application of co-existence between GMO and non-GMO agricultural systems also pertain to this research area.

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Product Innovation

Product innovationThis research area strives for innovative processing of primary agricultural products (plant as well as animal) into high quality and healthy food products. ILVO works on milk, dairy, meat products, vegetables and fruit and other products. The research is also based on the nutritional and functional qualities inherent in the foodstuff. We also search for valorization possibilities for by-products, new processing techniques via pilot testing, and possibilities for recombinant gene technology in plant-based platforms.

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Product Quality

Product qualityThe quality of food products is studied in terms of the chemico-physical, microbiological and technological perspective. Improvements of stability, composition, taste, processing and shelf-life are researched for dairy products, eggs, meat and fish, vegetables, fruit and honey. For health(ier) food, we research the possibilities to reduce sugar and salt and a balanced fat profile. ILVO develops methodologies and scientific parameters to characterize quality.

More details on the ILVO research portal