Future functional materials and sustainable foods are developed by designing specific material properties.
Barrier properties of a bioplastic packaging film, release from a pharmaceutical formulation, and the appealing texture of a cheese doodle are all examples of material properties of biological materials which have been designed for a specific function. The basic material science is the same for plastics, metals, concrete and foods, but the design criteria differ. We can for example use starch for durable and strong plastic bags, whereas the same starch can also be designed into a cheese doodle. In the latter case we would rather have a porous, crunchy foam structure rather than maximal strength.
The material design requires a combination of material science, microscopy and modelling. We have advanced analytical instruments for precise rheology as well as strong instruments for fracture mechanics. The toolbox also includes microscopy on all length scales by light, confocal and electron microscopes, as well as access and experts on X-ray and neutron scattering and visualization techniques. Aroma analysis gives a fingerprint of taste. Modelling and simulation add predictive ability of food and material function from the microstructure.
We offer advanced product development and design of desired properties, analysis, problem solving and concept development.