To understand the complicated structure of food materials and ingredients, and its effect on the properties of consumer products, advanced characterization techniques are needed. The relevant structures are often hierarchical, with features on the nano-, micro-, and millimetre scale all playing important roles for properties such as texture, mouth feel, stability, and visual appearance. Advanced X-ray and neutron scattering and imaging methods are capable of studying almost any material at all these length scales, and with a time resolution that enables studying dynamic changes to the material, for example, during processing or digestion.
The large-scale research infrastructure facilities becoming available in the region around Denmark presents a unique opportunity for industry as well as academia to study structures and processes that cannot be studied with more conventional methods. In particular, the European Spallation Source and the Max IV synchrotron in Lund, Sweden, promises a boost to Danish material science and should lead to innovation and give companies in the region a competitive advantage compared to international competitors.
The food and ingredients industry has a large potential for the use of X-ray and neutron methods to obtain innovative solutions to challenges and to develop better products for the consumer market. Despite the obvious possibilities, advanced X-ray and neutron techniques are still underused in the food and ingredients industry in contrast to the pharmaceutical industry, for example, where X-ray crystallography is already an invaluable tool.
In this workshop we will discuss how advanced X-ray and neutron techniques can benefit the Danish food and ingredients industry. Several examples will be presented, of how the techniques are already beeing used by scientists in industry and academia to investigate food and ingredients related problems.