Computer aided design and engineering of agrofood processes
CADcracker is embedded in the KU Leuven division MeBioS (Mechatronics, Biostatistics and Sensors). The group has a proven track record and leading expertise in computer aided design and engineering (CADE) for optimizing existing and novel agrofood products and processes. The approaches aim to maximize food quality while minimizing costs and environmental impact. CADcracker has more than 10 years of experience in industrially oriented research and development.
CADcracker initiates and coordinates strategic and applied research benefiting stakeholders in the agrofood sector. CADcracker closely collaborates with the knowledge and technology transfer office (TTO) of KU Leuven (http://lrd.kuleuven.be/) to assist the protection and licensing of intellectual property and valorization of new technologies.
RESEARCH: applying modelling to UNDERSTAND AGROFood
Our research aims to improve -through modelling and simulation- understanding of the dynamics of agrofood product biology, structure and quality as affected by conditions and processing along the supply chain from field to consumer.
CADcrackers wants to facilitate the interaction and collaboration between researchers and stakeholders in the agrofood chain on innovative computational solutions to understand, design, optimize and control processes and products in the agrofood chain.
By bringing together teams of KU Leuven and external experts, CADcracker builds strong alliances for innovations in the agrofood chain both at national and international level. To this end, we offer access to a network of top R&D experts in field. CADcracker assists in initiation, coordination and technology transfer of collaborations, and helps to seek funding opportunities and routes for exploitation.
The core of CADcrakcer are dedicated computational tools for design and engineering of agrofood processes and novel technologies. The simulations tools are based on mathematical models that describe and predict the behavior of the product accurately. Models may operate from the field scale down to the nanometer scale and include precise models for biochemical pathways and their intricate regulation, as well as quality kinetics. The models are used to
- increase knowledge about changes of products in unit processes and chains
- optimize process conditions
- create new designs and products
- develop new supply chain management systems
- design new devices to measure, monitor and control quality changes of the product
These models are applied to different steps and across the agrofood chain, from the field (e.g. to optimize fruit quality in orchards) to the consumer (e.g. to develop new concepts for 3D food printing).
Our team is experienced in project development and management at different levels and scales, from specific bilateral short term feasibility studies to large-scale multi-partner thematic consortia that bring together diverse expertises. In this coordinating role, we seek to bring together key innovators in the agrofood chain beyond our own CADcracker expertise.
- CADcracker solutions with a focus on pre- and postharvest technology are described at https://www.biw.kuleuven.be/biosyst/mebios/postharvest-group-1/research/engineering-applications.html
- Novel techniques for inspection and engineering of food (micro)structure based on X-ray computed tomography: www.TomFood.be
- Computational-design and Innovative Building of Uniquely Structured Food: www.cibus-food.eu
- A software to optimize food quality, safety, energy use and environmental impact in the cold chain: http://www.frisbeetool.eu/
CADcracker core partners
- Postharvest group of KU Leuven: www.postharvest.be
- Flanders Centre of Postharvest Technology: www.vcbt.be
- Division MeBioS of KU Leuven: www.mebios.be
- Department Biosystems of KU Leuven: http://www.biw.kuleuven.be/biosyst/index
- TTO office of KU Leuven: http://lrd.kuleuven.be/