VTT's Renovated Pilot Plant Facilities: New Possibilities for Cleaner Food Processing and Research

Juhani Sibakov, Mai Järvinen, Satu Salo, Gun Wirtanen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific


    VTT is the biggest multitechnological applied research organisation in Northern Europe, which creates new technology and science-based innovations in co-operation with domestic and foreign partners. In the food sector, VTT aims to deliver technological solutions for high quality products, which meet consumer needs, mainly by developing health-promoting foods with good sensory properties. VTT's core competencies in food science include knowledge on: a) Processing of cereals, berries and vegetables by enzymes, microbes and dry fractionation, b) Enzymatic engineering of bulk and interfacial biopolymer structures for improved food quality, c) Development of probiotics and the technology related to their use, d) In vitro platform for physiological responses, including a gut model, food metabolomics and the measurement of satiety, e) Understanding of the role of healthiness in food choices, f) Testing of consumer acceptance of new food technologies, products & services, and g) Upgrading the value of side streams, such as milling by-products, brewers spent grains and oil plant residues. Many of these competencies involve a lot of laboratory research and analytical equipment. We are specialized in applied research, so the scale-up possibilities from the small laboratory scale into intermediate pilot scale (ca. 1-10 kg/h) are essential, because we want to serve both academic and industrial fields. For example, industrial companies are able to test new kinds of processes or the manufacture of new products in the pilot scale, without interrupting their production lines and avoiding the wastage of raw materials. We have equipment for a broad range of processing possibilities, mainly focused on modification of ingredients, such as cereals and berries. The modification can be enzymatic, thermomechanical and/or physical. We have pilot scale fermentation vessels, mills, air classifier, extruder, as well as freeze-, fluidised bed- and spray dryers. In addition, we have separate facilities for pilot scale brewing and baking. VTT's facilities for pilot scale food processing were built in 1986. Since then the requirements for better hygiene and process safety have tightened significantly. In Finland, the facilities for commercial food production are governed by the statute of food surveillance (Finnish Government, 321/2006). On the other hand, the facilities for food research are not governed by the same statute, i.e. they are not governmentally monitored as far as the production is not aiming at commercial markets. Despite this exception in the food law, we wanted to ensure that our products are manufactured and monitored by the newest standards of hygiene and safety.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication41st R3-Nordic Symposium
    Subtitle of host publicationCleanroom technology, contamination control and cleaning
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7596-1
    ISBN (Print)978-951-38-7595-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
    Event41st R3-Nordic Symposium: Cleanroom technology, contamination control and cleaning - Espoo, Finland
    Duration: 25 May 201026 May 2010

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Symposium


    Conference41st R3-Nordic Symposium


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