It’s become a recurring event on our calendar, that we look forward to every year: the Masterclass Innovative Process Technologies. We organize this masterclass in collaboration with the HAS Green Academy for 4th year students Food Technology. During a week in September, these students visit us and take a deep dive into the world of innovative technology, that will allow us to make tomorrow’s food.
“Cool to see these technologies in real life” and “super interesting to see a wide range of technologies in one spot, that’s not very common!” are some of the recurring pieces of feedback we get from our students every year. Proving that it’s a valuable addition to their curriculum.
September 2022 marked the 3rd year anniversary of this successful collaboration. With about ten students with an interest in process technology, we kicked off the week with a day full of guest lectures. Aim was to inspire and inform the students, before they’d work on their own projects.
Frank de Boeff (Bodec) talked about the challenges surrounding process innovation in the food industry. It can take years for a new, more sustainable, technology to properly land in the market. A lot of aspects need to be investigated and possible misconceptions need to be cleared out. Nevertheless, it’s a promising field of work since so much impact can be made once the chance is made!
Next up, Jasper van Altena (Pascal Processing), who inspired students with his experience on using high pressure for pasteurization (HPP) of products. An easily overlooked area is the design of suitable packaging, thus he extensively discussed the challenges and opportunities in that area with the students. Mark Soetman (RMF Europe & Crustalicious) wrapped up with another two real life examples about bringing new technology to market.
Of course, seeing as how we were at Food Tech Brainport we also showed the students the previously discussed technology in real life in our on-site factory. To add on even more practical experience, they also visited Van Rijsingen Green. There, they got to see an example of innovative technology used at scale. Carrots, that would have previously been used as animal feed, or for energy production, were upgraded in valuable products, such as juices and fibers, all suitable for human consumption. It really hit home that we can reduce waste, through innovation.
During the masterclass the students also do their own piece of research into one of the discussed innovative technologies. This year, students looked into the challenges surrounding RMF when trying to use this technology for a spiral freezer. Others compared ATFD (agitated thin film drying) to conventional spray dry technology, to better understand the advantages and challenges of this new technology.
We ended the week with thought provoking presentations by the students. Every year they result in some good discussions, and a few sparks for new ideas!