KULeuven (www.kuleuven.ac.be) is the largest Belgian University with a total student population of ca 28,000 students. At the K.U.Leuven, both fundamental and applied research is conducted in all academic disciplines. In the past few years in particular, the University's research efforts and output have increased considerably, both quantitatively and qualitatively, thus positioning Leuven at the forefront of European universities. Research at the University is characterized by originality and innovation, successful application, and the virtual disappearance of interdisciplinary boundaries. Its basic orientation has always been and will remain fundamental research, in accordance with the University's mission. At the same time, KULeuven remains open to contemporary cultural, economic, and industrial realities, or to the community's corresponding needs and expectations. Competitive research at the University is to a large extent internationalized and geared towards the whole world. KULeuven is ready to face the continuing challenge from European and worldwide research and development.
The Faculty of Bio-engineering Science (www.agr.kuleuven.ac.be) is one of the 14 Faculties of the University. The Department of Food and Microbial Technology (www.agr.kuleuven.ac.be/lmt) (Head: Prof. J. Delcour) is one of the six departments of the Faculty and has a staff of ca 100 full-time equivalents. Its research mission is to acquire basic insights in constituents, micro-organisms and processes in the biological and biochemical industries, and to translate such insights in improved processing, and product quality in terms of efficiency, health effects and/or organoleptic quality. Its research relies heavily on the food (bio-)chemistry, food microbiology, and food processing disciplines. In the food (bio)chemistry work carried out at the Laboratory of food chemistry (Prof. J. Delcour, Head; Prof. C. Courtin), cereal related work has a predominant place with a team of ca. 35 full-time equivalents including 6 postdoctoral workers and 20 pre-doctoral scientists focussing on basic as well as applied aspects of cereal constituents and cereal processing. The Laboratory contributes to the Department's research mission by generating basic insights in starch, non-starch polysaccharides and reserve and physiologically active proteins of cereals and applying these insights in biotechnological processes in which cereal are used to improve process parameters, organoleptic quality and health promoting effects of food products.
The Laboratory is well equipped for basic as well as applied research work. The available equipment includes a wide range of chromatography systems for both carbohydrates and proteins, a micro-scale bakery, rheological equipment for starch, flour and dough characterisation. In addition, the Laboratory has differential scanning calorimeters and an extruder.
The Laboratory has been involved in a number of Framework V EU-programmes and currently coordinates one project within FP5 (Solfibread). In addition, it has a long tradition of collaboration with major national and international industrial groups.
K.U.LEUVEN proposes that at least part of its funded activities shall consist of the granting by the University, on proposal of Professor Jan Delcour of a tax-free scholarship to promising researchers. The social regime applicable to this status is such that it does not allow the K.U.LEUVEN to treat the researcher as an employee. Furthermore, the applicable rules require the scholars to spend all of their time to training and research that can lead to a PhD-diploma. For that purpose, the scholar will submit a personal PhD-project to the University which will be in line with and can substantially contribute to the field of research of HEALTHGRAIN.
Last updated on 2006-11-10 by Gertrud Linsberger-Martin