| Food Science
The Department of Food Science has a strong research focus and does research in specific themes.
Projects in the food microbiology theme include the detection and characterising of spoilage and potential pathogens present in food products. The diversity of microbial populations in various food products, including fruit juices, dairy environments, infant and fermented products, is also studied. The theme has a strong focus on the growth and decay characteristics of spoilage organisms especially those that survive heat intensive processes. One of the newer research aspects in this theme is the evaluation of ultrasound a rapid, effective and economically viable replacement for pasteurisation and sterilisation processes.
The environmental theme in the food industry focusses on the use of anaerobic digestion technology, the use of ozonation and other pre-treatment techniques to improve the efficiency of the water treatment system, as well as reducing water usage in the general food processing environment.
The food safety theme specifically researches the levels and types of microbes present in polluted rivers that are utilized for irrigation. Microbial source tracking and carry over kinetics is the core of the research done. The linking of the potential pathogens in the irrigation water to produce that is consumed raw or after minimal processing is important for consumer health and prevention of food borne diseases.
The spectroscopy theme, focusses on the evaluation of bulk near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy as well as NIR hyperspectral imaging for quantification, qualification, authentication and determination of irregularities in various food and agricultural products. From this models, to be applied during quality control, are developed.
The cereal quality theme investigates and develops methods essential for efficient breeding, production, processing and evaluation of various cereals. The texture of cereal endosperm and the role played by the composition of the proteins within the respective grains are also investigated.
Within the sensometric theme research projects are usually multi-disciplinary in nature: chemical, sensory and physical attributes of food products or new prototypes are correlated; furthermore advanced statistical techniques are applied to determine the drivers of liking of specific consumer segments.
Dr GO Sigge (Chairperson; Environmental Management, Food Processing)
Prof TJ Britz (Food Fermentation, Water Microbiology)
Prof M Manley (NIR: Near Infrared Spectroscopy, Cereal Quality)
Ms Muller (Sensory Science, Sensometrics)
Mr CC Ng’andwe (Cereal Science, Food Chemistry)
Prof E Joubert (ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij; Research in Antioxidants, Natural Products)
Prof PLM Geladi (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden)
Prof T Naes (Nofima, Norway)
Associate Professor Extraordinary
Prof. PA Gouws (University of the Western Cape; Research in Food Microbiology)
Prof LECM Anelich (Food Industry: Anelich Consulting)
Prof GP Fox (University of Queensland, Australia)
Ms P du Buisson, Ms VR Human, Ms AE Lombard
Ms MM du Preez (Secretary)
Mr E Brooks
Tel: +27 21 808 3578