Research area

Raw materials and process optimisation

The quality of biological raw materials often vary widely because of seasonality, climate, growing conditions, genetic differences between varieties and storage conditions. When these raw materials are used in the food industry, the quality of the finished product will also vary. Variations in quality will in turn cause reduced earnings due to suboptimal processing, more wastage and dissatisfied customers.

Customers have clear expectations about a product's taste and consistency, and it is important for the industry and supermarkets to meet these expectations. It is therefore crucial for the food industry to have detailed knowledge about the various aspects of raw materials' quality and how raw materials can be used most effectively in processing and distribution- in terms of finance, sustainability, health and environment.

Variations in quality must be monitored at an early stage

Variations in raw materials quality can accelerate during subsequent processing, if processing and storage are not properly monitored and controlled. The food industry needs to record such variations as early as possible in the production process chain and to compensate for variations by adjusting processing conditions or formulaes. In this endeavour it is essencial to carry out measurements of raw materials quality both before and during production itself - preferably right at the production line. Rapid spectroscopic measurement methods are highly suitable for this purpose, as they have the potential to record both chemical and physical properties of raw materials and products.

Inter-disciplinary competence

Knowledge about raw materials and measurement of their quality properties is an area of high priority throughout Nofima, as the knowhow can be utilised efficiently across the different disciplines and raw materials groups. Nofima Mat has laboratories with advanced analytical instruments and an internationally recognised sensory panel to assess products on the basis of taste, aroma, texture and colour.


None Photo: Kjell J. Merok
Copyright: Nofima

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Research area within Raw materials and process optimisation

Biospectroscopy and sensor technology

The need for rapid and non-destructive measurement methods is increasing, primarily because demands are being made to increase production efficiency, and at the same time maintaining or improving product quality.

Knowledge of raw materials

The connections between quality of raw materials, process and food quality are complex. Today's competitive situation demands a high rate of product development, which makes innovation an important area within food production.

Multivariate statistics and data modeling

A food can be affected by very many different factors, such as quality of raw materials, the production process, the instruments used during production and quality control. Getting a product to taste the same every time is not as straightforward as you might think.