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.