VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is a contract research organisation involved in many international assignments. With its more than 3000 employees, VTT provides a wide range of technology and applied research services for its clients, private companies, institutions and the public sector. VTT Biotechnology, one of the six research institutes of VTT, is a pioneer in the development of bioscience applications to meet the requirements of the industry. It works globally, utilising its extensive research and co-operation networks. The core technological competencies of the research institute are biosciences, the functionalisation of foods, systems biology, metabolic engineering and industrial biomolecules. The most important customer segments are food industry, biotechnical and chemical industry, pharmaceutical and diagnostic industry, packaging and forest industry. Research and development is carried out in joint interdisciplinary projects with industry and universities or in confidential contract work with industrial customers. Over 300 people work at VTT Biotechnology, of which 50% are scientists; out of the scientists 40 % have doctor's degree. The food research at VTT aims at developing technology and expertise for innovative use of raw materials in foods for well being. The specific targets are 1) innovative bioprocessing technologies (use of enzymes and starter cultures), 2) engineering of food structure 3) design of physiological functionality, and 4) improvement and stabilisation of taste. VTT Biotechnology has long experience in international collaboration.
VTT has complete pilot bakery, and also various other pilot scale equipment such as extruder, spray and freeze driers, pilot malting, brewing and baking facilities. For analysis of food structure we have very good facilities for rheological measurements, microstructural characterisation and image analysis, for example Confocal Scanning Laser Microscopy. VTT has also good facilities for enzyme production, purification and characterisation in laboratory and pilot scale, and expertise in vitro digestion models predicting physiological responses. The relevant facilities to analyse the perceived flavour include a 20-member trained sensory panel specialised in assessment of cereal products by descriptive profiling (accreditation status). A computerised data collection system is routinely used. GC and HPLC are used for analysis of bioactive compounds.
VTT Biotechnology has been involved in 25 R&D projects related to enzyme technology and food science supported by the IV and V Framework EU-Programmes. Currently VTT co-ordinates two food related RTD-projects within FP 5 (MAXFUN, CROSSENZ). In addition VTT is active in COST Actions, co-ordinating two Actions (COST E 23, COST 847) and actively participates in several. Through the networks created in the EU-programmes VTT has collaborative partners in all present Member and Associated States and with several of the Associated Candidate Countries. VTT Biotechnology has also extensive collaboration with the United States and Canada, funding from the US Department of Energy, and also some collaborative activities with Japanese laboratories. VTT also is at regular basis organisers of international symposia and congresses.
Last updated on 2006-05-19 by Gertrud Linsberger-Martin