SIK - Articles and news items

SIK to be integrated in parent company for continued expansion within the food industry

Industry news  •  10 November 2014  •  SIK

On 1 January 2015, SIK (the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology) will form a new unit in the parent company SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden…

FOOD FACTORY 2012: Registration is open

Featured news, News  •  2 April 2012  •  LAVAL MAYENNE TECHNOPOLE

The 6th international conference on the food factory for the future will be held in Laval, France on 4-6 July 2012…

Propraline project delivers a number of solutions for chocolate industry to improve praline quality

Issue 1 2012  •  6 March 2012  •  Lilia Ahrné, Coordinator, ProPraline and Director Process and Technology Development at SIK – Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology

The ProPraline project is now finalised and after three years of intensive research, the project has delivered a number of solutions. Four booklets containing scientific information to help SMEs to produce pralines of high quality and extended shelf-life have been developed during the project and are now available to download on ProPraline external website:

The objective of the ProPraline project has been to improve the competitiveness of the European SMEs producing exclusive, complicated and niche-oriented filled products like chocolate pralines by developing knowledge and technical solutions to improve quality and to extend the shelf-life of their products. Moreover, the project, through SMEs associations, has provided demonstration and training to a large number of European SMEs in how to manufacture new innovative chocolate pralines with high quality. The main S&T results obtained are well aligned with the objectives of the project as shown here:

Cooperation in Europe to enhance technology transfer

Issue 1 2012  •  5 March 2012  •  Ariette Matser, Charon Zondervan and Andrea Seleljova, Wageningen UR; Fabien Boulier, Agropolis International; and Emma Holtz, SIK

Technology transfer or knowledge exchange is considered to be very important for increasing the innovation potential of the food industry in Europe. Reaching the large group of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Europe with state-of-the-art knowledge available in universities and research organisations is considered especially essential, but also very difficult. The primary aim of the European Network of Excellence ‘HighTech Europe’ is to facilitate the process of knowledge exchange by developing an easy to use toolbox and sharing best practices across Europe. In addition, a roadmap and an action based plan for a (virtual) European Institute of Food Processing will be developed. In this publication, the main goals of collaboration in a European Institute of Food Processing and several operational issues are described.

Twenty two partners from academia and industry have joined forces in the EC funded Network of Excellence ‘HighTech Europe’ that for the first time links the European competences and expertise in the food processing sector. The overall intention is to achieve an effective knowledge exchange in the field of high-tech food processing, bio, nano and ICT technologies to food markets in order to strengthen the competitiveness of the European food industry, especially of SMEs. To achieve this goal, HighTech Europe aims to provide building blocks for an establishment of a European Institute of Food Processing that would ensure a long-term collaboration between European centres of excellence and the food industry. The conditions under which such an institute should operate are being investigated in the project.

Demonstration of novel technologies and advanced heating has been a key goal for NovelQ

Issue 5 2010  •  5 November 2010  •  Lilia Ahrné, Director of Department Process and Technology Development, SIK and Ariette Matser, Senior Scientist Novel Processing, Wageningen UR, Food & Biobased Research

One of the goals of NovelQ is to facilitate and speed up industrial exploitation of novel technologies by carrying out extensive demonstration activities with real food products and industrial equipment in close collaboration with the food industry. A variety of activities have been undertaken during the lifetime of NovelQ demonstrating the advantages of novel processing and advanced heating with respect to product quality and shelf-life (Figure 1).

Novel processing and sustainable food production – a perfect match or not?

Issue 5 2010  •  4 November 2010  •  Ulf Sonesson, Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology (SIK)

Food is indispensible to humans. Aside from the provision of energy and nutrients, it contributes to a range of important aspects of human life such as pleasure, cultural identity and heritage. At the same time, food accounts for a significant global share of total environmental impact and resource use. It is difficult to accurately quantify this impact, but estimates show that food chains globally account for 25 – 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions and energy use, and food production occupies most of the available arable land. Agriculture is also the single largest user of water and has a tremendous impact on biodiversity.

Hygienic design of novel processing equipment

Issue 5 2010  •  4 November 2010  •  Edyta Margas & John Holah, Campden BRI and Alexander Milanov & Lilia Ahrné, SIK

The hygienic design of food processing equipment is a critical factor in determining the quality and safety of foods produced. It involves the selection of suitable materials of construction, their fabrication into a functional piece of equipment, the ability of constructed equipment to produce food hygienically and the maintenance of hygienic conditions throughout the equipment’s working life. There is a significant amount of guidance and information available on the principles of hygienic design for traditional food processing equipment (from the European Hygienic Engineering Design Group;, but the nature of NP techniques such as High Pressure Processing (HPP) and Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) may impose other additional stresses on the equipment surfaces, their construction materials and their fabrication.

Hygienic assembly and transfer of food products: A demonstration system for the automatic processing of vegetables

Issue 5 2010  •  4 November 2010  •  Anders Pettersson, SlK and John O. Gray, IIT

Food production constitutes the largest European manufacturing sector, employing some four million people and generating an annual turnover of approximately EUR 850 billion of which EUR 50 billion products are exported. The sector is unusual in that a large percentage of its output still depends on manual operations; a situation that is probably due to the way the industry has evolved over previous decades and the fact that a vast number of companies in the sector are SMEs where the take up of automation has been relatively slow throughout the European arena.

Novel(Q) robotics to handle food – sensitive and hygienic grippers

Issue 2 2008, Past issues  •  13 June 2008  •  Anders Pettersson, SIK

In 2006, at the Institute for Food and Biotechnology, SIK, in Gothenburg, a research project was started as a part of NovelQ1. The focus of this project is to develop a robot workstation with high flexibility and hygiene that can handle soft, variable and fragile products; in other words, to handle non packaged food products.