The big impact of tiny critters in our food


About the research

You have no doubt come across it when opening your fridge: a packet of cheese full of mould or a pot of sauce with a suspiciously bulging lid. The culprits? Bacteria, yeasts and moulds. Food producers try to prevent this type of spoilage as much as possible. They do this by ensuring that a product contains as few micro-organisms as possible when it leaves the factory. Thijs Vackier (KU Leuven) is helping them do this. He is working on new cleaning agents that can better break down the biofilms, protective mantles around micro-organisms, in food processing equipment.

Thijs Vackier
KU Leuven

How things we can’t see with the naked eye influence the world around us has been the driver of Thijs Vackier to study microbiology. The fruity flavors of certain beers, to how yoghurt is made, all the work of interesting microbes. But, especially the ugly side of these microorganisms has led him to pursue a PhD at KU Leuven to study the effect of microorganisms present in the food processing equipment on the spoilage of food products.

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