Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe)
Today, the whole food chain is more complex than ever. Many challenges face all involved, be it in agriculture, food production, policy making and regulatory bodies, or research and development. Goals include increasing the sustainability of food production systems, assuring the safety of food products, conferring health-promoting properties to food products, and dealing with the shift in age profile of the consumer. In addition, diverse lifestyles and consumer demands with respect to organoleptic properties, shelf life, diversity and convenience of food make innovation in food technologies and food concepts the key to success in the food sector.
Against this background, the Group Management Science, Engineering and Technology established the Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe) as a multidisciplinary Centre in the area of feed, food and health that bridges the gap between the Science, Engineering and Technology Group, the Biomedical Sciences Group and the Humanities and Social Sciences Group at the K.U.Leuven Association level.
The mission of LFoRCe is:
to bring together 'critical mass' with expertise on feed, food and health at the KU Leuven Association level.
to perform (interdisciplinary) cutting-edge research in an (inter)national environment on
- innovative food systems and advanced food technologies,
- health-related functionalities of food and food ingredients in model systems and humans, and
- social and consumer related issues related to food and health.
to strengthen the position and visibility of the KU Leuven Association in the area.
to support interaction with industry and policy makers.
to cover the knowledge chain from basic to applied research and transfer novel technologies to relevant stakeholders.
to fulfil a portal function for external stakeholders.
In fulfilling its mission, LFoRCe seeks science-based innovative answers to the above cited challenges, and this in an international context.
Participating research groups
At the KU Leuven Association level LFoRCe bundles the expertises of 29 research teams from 13 different Departments of the Science, Engineering and Technology Group, the Biomedical Sciences Group and the Humanities and Social Sciences Group. The research potential counts 47 professors and at least 500 staff members, and includes state-of-the-art lab-scale and pilot-scale research facilities. The Unit of Technology and Food Science of the Institute for Agriculture and Fisheries Research (ILVO, Melle, Belgium) acts as affiliate partner of LFoRCe.
The research activities of LFoRCe do not only cover the chain from raw materials to food and food storage, but go further by also focusing on health and social aspects of food. Within LFoRCe, expertise is available on different food (e.g. cereal-based food, fruits and vegetables, oils and lipids, meat) and beverage (e.g. juices and beer) systems. The research can be structured in different interdependent disciplinary research lines and a number of research lines focusing on different food product categories.
A Brief presentation of LFoRCe can be downloaded here.