Functional Ingredients

The research group Functional Ingredients offers research aimed at developing new applications for biopolymers. Biopolymers are widely found in nature and are currently used in almost countless number of applications, both food and non-food. The activities of FI cover the chain from ingredient development to applications in a multidisciplinary way.

Research Functional Ingredients

The projects, conducted in FI, cover a wide range of biopolymer related issues. Examples are obtaining functional protein from green crops such as beet leaves to physical modification of starches by super-heated steam resulting in clean label food additives. Also reduction of sugar, saturated fats and salts in a variety of food products like snacks, confectionery and meat products are important topics, whereby selective separation of sugars from fruit juices is another reformulation technique. And last but not least, development of new dietary fibers for food applications is a recent topic. The research in the non-food area is aiming at transferring biomass (mainly lignocellulose) into glucose for bioethanol or other fermentation purposes or use the biomass or components from biomass towards the development of new materials.

Main research areas

Functional Ingredients operates in 4 main research areas, namely:

  • Protein Technology
  • Carbohydrate Chemistry
  • Physics and Application
  • Innovative Processing

These research areas overlap with each other and most projects are a combination of at least two of the mentioned research areas. Each of the core activities of Functional Ingredients play a crucial part in projects executed in the research group. Projects within the research group are executed always in a multi-disciplinary way in order to create optimum solutions. Due to the broad knowledge base FI has the capability to cover a wide spectrum of biopolymer related issues both in the food and non-food area.

Examples of projects

Project activities Functional Ingredients

Reduction of sugar in fruit juices
FI has developed a separation process for extracting sugar while the taste and texture stays the same. The use of this technology has opened a new category of juice products with reduced calories.

Reduction of sugars in candy bars
Also in this market reduction of calories play an important role. This project is part of a larger program on reformulation of food products and techniques are also used for the reduction of fat and salt.

Biomass pretreatment
The production of glucose from ligno cellulose biomass is gaining a stronger momentum. FI has developed a technology whereby it is possible to obtain at higher dry weight concentrations through the use of enzymes liberating glucose from ligno cellulose. This glucose can subsequently be used in fermentations and transformed into useful materials.


Feedstock flexibility

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Healthy diet

How healthy is a particular food product or diet? TNO Food and Health focuses on finding the answers. To this end we develop methods that make it possible to measure the health effects of foods. Manufacturers... Read more

Food innovations

Sustainability issues, critical consumers, and dynamic markets all demand innovations in the food industry. Manufacturers want to bring new or improved products to market faster and more efficiently.... Read more

Food safety

Food-safety testing is often time-consuming and uncertain. TNO develops advanced methods that provide fast, accurate information on allergenicity and on the microbiological and toxicological safety of... Read more
Our work

Excellent water provision for communities in Tanzania

The Networking WASH project (Nwash) introduces the concept of an independent mini-network operator which will provide 230,000 people with safe water within the coming five years. Role for TNO is to develop... Read more

Successful test with new clean water technology Tanzania

12 July 2016
In many areas of Tanzania the natural high concentration of fluoride in water sources cause teeth to color brown and other health problems. Therefore, the removal of fluoride is one of the main objectives.... Read more

Healthy wholemeal bread with the taste and texture of white bread

20 January 2015
The more dietary fibre we consume, for example, by eating wholemeal bread, the more we can prevent heart and vascular diseases, diabetes, obesity and similar disorders. But in most European countries,... Read more

Earth, Life and Social Sciences

Dr. ing. Jan Jetten


Dr. ing. Jan Jetten


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