Aseptic Technologies

Contaminating microorganisms result in the spoilage of fresh goods and can even produce toxins and cause food poisoning. Thus foodstuffs have to be biologically stabilized as effectively as possible and filled or packed under hygienic conditions. Well-established processes for preserving foodstuffs such as heat sterilization or pasteurization frequently have the disadvantage that they destroy valuable heat-sensitive substances in the foodstuffs such as vitamins, thus reducing their nutritional value. Also, the addition of chemical preservatives can have negative effects on the quality of the product and potentially affect the consumer’s health. Besides impairing the substances contained in foodstuffs, thermal processes can also inactivate active agents in pharmaceutical products. There is therefore a need for alternative for biological stabilization methods.

The development of new methods for the biological stabilization and/or sterilization of biogenic products such as foodstuffs, cosmetics and pharmaceutical drugs is the focus of the ˝Aseptic Systems˝ working group. We are investigating various physical methods, such as microwaves or pressure change technology, for their ability to reduce microbial load. Simultaneously, their effects on valuable food components are taken into consideration.

Fields of research

 

Extraction and processing of intracellular metabolites with high-pressure processes

Recovering biochemicals with high economic value in algae, bacteria and yeast involves expensive downstream processing. Our approach integrates cell disruption by pressure change technology with separation of intracellular metabolites.

 

Stabilization of food and plant-based extracts

The development of new methods for stabilization and preservation of food, cosmetics, drugs and the like is another focus of the Aseptic Technologies working group. Various physical methods, such as microwaves or pressure change technology, are investigated with respect to inactivating microbial contamination. Products are to be treated as gently as possible and the biological function of their ingedredients should not be affected.

 

Recovery of valuable materials from wastes of food production

The product-friendly and environmentally compatible extraction of functional components from biogenic raw materials or residues as well as intermediate products from agriculture and food production is a further research focus. For the re-utilization, we develop separation, extraction and concentration technologies in order to recover functional ingredients.

 

Process validation

Based on our interdisciplinary competences in the fields of food quality and safety as well as process and mechanical engineering, we optimize and validate process concepts to facilitate the introduction of new technologies into the market. Our expertise covers the validation of cleaning procedures of equipment used in food, biotech and cosmetic industries, the verification of hygienic design as well as process and product compliance with standards of food production (e.g. hazard analysis and critical control points, HACCP).