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Microscopy for food products

<p>Most of us thinks that the most important property of food is that it is nice to eat. However, because of climate change, we need to use raw materials and rest products in a more resource efficient way, increase consumption of sustainable vegetable proteins as an alternative to meat, and to provide better prerequisites for improved health. To be able to achieve this, food ingredients and food processing need to be improved. Advanced microscopy is an important tool for this improvement since the microstructure controls the properties. Therefore, we urgently need microscopy and structure design!<strong>!</strong></p>

Bread microscopy
Bread microstructure at different length scales. The top row shows a croissant, an enlarged X-ray microtomography image of it, and a confocal image of a bread lamella. The lower row shows a light microscopy image of starch and gluten in a lamella as well as a transmission electron microscopy image of a partially swollen starch granule.

By designing the microstructure correctly, we get climate smart and healthy food. Foods often have complicated, heterogeneous multi-phase microstructures on multiple length scales. The contributions from the different structural parts, on different length scales, are summed up and give the food its properties. Both the texture, mouthfeel, taste release, storage stability, swelling, degradation and bioavailability are controlled by the structure.

To understand the relationship between properties, functionality and microstructure, advanced microscopy is needed that can determine the structure on different length scales. In-depth knowledge is also needed regarding the materials research questions, experimental design, sample preparation, handling, data interpretation, modelling and statistical evaluation. RISE is well equipped in all these areas and has good instrumentation. We have advanced sample preparation equipment for microscopy (cryo, freeze etching, plastic embedding, micatechnology, thin cutting) and light, confocal and electron microscopes. RISE also has scanning electron microscopy, confocal Raman microscopy, TOF-SIMS and AFM and we collaborate with leading researchers around the world and utilize large scale research infrastructures. All activities are based on research and physicochemical principles.

RISE offer includes:

• Design of new foods with improved functionality and properties

• Product development support

• Trouble shooting

• Characterization and analysis of products

• Knowledge building within applied research projects

• Courses and networks

Niklas Lorén

Contact person

Niklas Lorén

Senior Forskare

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