Wageningen University is a leading educational institution in the Netherlands that offers the possibility to integrate natural and social sciences. Study programmes cover the full range from plant sciences, food technology and health to supply chain management, from environmental sciences to sociology and economics. Wageningen University offers Dutch Study Programmes as well as International Education (MSc, BSc, MBA, PhD)
The department of agrotechnology and nutrition presents a broad expertise on food physics, food processing, microbiology, chemistry and nutrition. The Food chemistry group (head: professor A. G. J. Voragen) is well known both for its outstanding expertise in the area of plant polysaccharides (pectins, and other starch and non-starch polysaccharides) and in the area of biochemistry and physical chemistry of enzymes and plant storage proteins, their behaviour during processing and an extensive knowledge about complex food systems. Specifically, this expertise comprises: isolation and purification, characterization of molecular structure and the (enzymatic) modification of biopolymers. Special effort has been directed to study structure-functionality relationships of various types of polysaccharides during the processing of fruits, vegetables and cereals and for the upgrading of agro by-products. Of special interests are specific modifications of polysaccharides, using enzymes (both endogenous as exogenous) resulting in a different behaviour of the plant material under investigation. The group is continuously searching for novel enzymes and investigation of their role in food technology, while the same pure and well-defined enzymes form a valuable tool to study the chemical structure of polysaccharides.
The department offers fundamental equipment for cereal technology: dough mixers (Mixograph and Farinograph Brabender), gluten extraction (TNO modified Glutomatic), an Extensigraph (Brabender), a Texture Analyzer (with different devices to be attached like the dough and gluten extensibility rig, Chen-Hoseney probe for measurement of dough stickiness); as well as a wide range of analytical tools: Multiple-detector chromatography (PED, DAD, ELSD, Fluorescense, RI) ranging from nanoflow LC-MS to preparative chromatography (3-6 g biopolymer per run), Electrophoresis (gel, capillary), Maldi-Tof MS, Differential scanning calorimetry, Fluorescence-, FTIR, NMR- and CD-spectroscopy, Beckman Coulter Laser particles sizer, Static and dynamic light scattering, Mass spectrometry, LC-MS, Malditof. Rheometry, Bohlin VOR.
In 1999 a special chair for the Technology of Cereal Proteins was established. This chair is led by professor Robert Hamer, a leading scientist in this area. With this chair the experience and skills of cereal protein research (formerly hosted by the TNO cereals, flour and bread institute) is combined with the excellent skills and facilities of the Food Chemistry group.
Last updated on 2005-08-09 by Gertrud Linsberger-Martin