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Alain Krafft
5 septembre 2019
PhD student working on separation of lipids from biomass

PhD student working on separation of lipids from biomass

(ref. BAP-2019-589)

The laboratory Food and Lipids concentrates her research on the lipid (fat) fraction of food stuffs. On the one hand, lipids are often under pressure from a health conscious point of view but on the other hand they are essential for the sensory (e.g. taste), nutritional (e.g. essential fatty acids, fat soluble vitamins) and technological (e.g. spreadibility) properties of fat rich food products. The mission of the laboratory is thus to conduct research facilitating the production of healthy/ier fat rich food products without compromising the taste or the technological functionality.

A first research line, in which this vacancy fits, focuses on new sources of nutritionally interesting lipids. Current focus is on the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from autotrophic microalgae. The research investigates the complete downstream processing of cultivated microalgae to the foodstuff on the consumer's plate.

Project

The PhD student will work in the framework of a Strategic Basic Research project (cSBO of Flanders’ Food): EffSep – Efficient separation of macroconstituents from biomass that focuses on efficient separation of constituents from biomass by combining unit operations based on insights in structural organization. You will work in an interuniversity and interdisciplinary team of research groups, during this 4year project. In the frame of circular economy an increased attention is going to valorization of food waste, preferably producing new products/derivatives of the food waste with an added value as high as possible in the valorization chain. On the other hand, to be able to fulfill current needs and trends towards the use of alternative and new biomass and their ingredients in the food, attention is going to producing food ingredients from these biomasses (e.g. microalgae). The main aim of the project is to gain mechanistic insight in the impact of unit operations like stabilisation, cell disruption and extraction of the constituents from the biomass. This PhD will mainly be conducted at KU Leuven Kulak and will focus on the cell disruption to promote the extraction of lipids from different types of biomass (e.g. microalgae). there will however be a close collaboration with other PhD researchers and research groups from UGent, KU Leuven and UHasselt working on stabilisation of the biomass and visualizing the cellular structure. Close interaction with industrial partners is also foreseen.

Profile

You have obtained a Masters degree in a relevant field (e.g. Food technology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering, ...) with high marks.

You can express yourself fluently in English (written and spoken).

You can work independently but also perform well in group.

Interest in scientific research and more specifically the topic of this PhD and performing the related experiments is a must.

Offer

We offer a PhD scholarship for 1 year (starting November 1st), which will be prolonged to 4 years in case of positive evaluation.

Interested?

For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Imogen Foubert, tel.: +32 56 24 61 73, mail: imogen.foubert@kuleuven.be.

You can apply for this job no later than September 20, 2019 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

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