Food Chain Sustainability and Dynamics

TiFN delivers 200 PhD’s to the food sector in 21 years

12 October 2018 – Today, TiFN delivers its 200th PhD candidate. Mariya Tarazanova, like all these other young innovators, was trained to bridge the gap between science and industry. The thesis that Mariya Tarazanova defended today at the University of Groningen provides insights and tools that allow the food industry to improve existing or formulate new, fermented, products without changing production processes.

 Tarazanova is one of the first scientists in the world to investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms of lactic acid bacteria interacting with food matrices. As a member of TiFN, the food technologist made her first acquaintance with advanced microbial genetics, bioinformatics, and cloning software. “I learnt a lot about the theory, and about translating the outcomes into daily industry practice”, she says. With such a focus on microscopic mechanisms, Tarazanova found it difficult, at times, to step back and look at the bigger picture. “My supervisors and industry partners helped me by asking questions that needed deep reflection.”

 For 21 years TiFN has been leading the way towards effective public private partnerships to create impact for food science and industry. TiFN, formerly known as WCFS, was founded in 1997 as a Technological Top institute by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and industrial partners with the aim to strengthen the impact of scientific research for the food industry. 21 years later TiFN has helped hundreds of scientists to produce important, breakthrough innovations that are now the basis for the development of a healthier and sustainable food products worldwide. This emphasizes the success and importance of the original approach of joint programming of science impact for societal issues as an alternative to current open tendering programs.

Tarazanova is the 200th TiFN PhD fellow. On this occasion, managing director Ronald Visschers presented her a trophy: “We are extremely proud of the work of Mariya. it is a wonderful example of how TiFN shapes projects: in close consultation with industry and science, the PhD student works on industrially relevant subjects in a scientifically excellent way.”

Today, TiFN is a thriving international community of industrial and academic partners. The experts join in the well-established TiFN way of working to define and execute public-private research that are valuable to the food industry. Mariya Tarazanova is a perfect example of a PhD candidate that is reaping the fruits of the TiFN platform. In the past years, an average of 10 TiFN PhD candidates defended their thesis. Visschers: “We only have been able to do this with the ongoing financial support of industry and government, in particular the ministry of Economic affairs. Over the past 20 years, they have invested seriously in our platform. The investment pays of every day now in science, in a healthier and more sustainable food chain and in experts that can lead the way between scientific excellence and industrial relevance.”


Dr Peter van Dael, TiFN Board: “The Dutch have made working together into an art.”

5 October – Nutrition sciences and their ultimate applicability to daily life should always go hand in hand, according to Dr Peter van Dael, Senior President Nutrition Science & Advocacy at DSM Nutritional Products, who joined the TiFN board in August 2018. “The challenge is to find the optimum balance between research with short-term benefits and long-term fundamental science.”

Van Dael had only been at DSM for a few months when TiFN invited him to take up the position from his (DSM) colleague Krijn Rietveld, who passed away earlier this year. “Selecting and bringing together companies, research organizations and goals, to meet societal needs, is a challenge I welcome and value”, he says. “I did not have to think for very long before accepting the offer.”

The Senior President, who spent ten years of his career at Mead Johnson Nutrition in the USA (see text box for biography), was not that familiar with TiFN, but already knew a number of experts in the field. “I worked as a medical director with the (originally Dutch) company Royal Numico, in France, and collaborated with several research organizations in the Netherlands, including Wageningen University & Research, NIZO food research, TNO Nutrition and RIVO, the Dutch organization for Fisheries Research”, he illustrates.

Collaboration spirit
Van Dael’s first impressions of TiFN are very positive. “This initiative is a beautiful example of the entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit abundant in this country”, he explains. “Working together has always been a Dutch strength; now ‘we’ have taken it to the global level.”

Collaboration is essential to achieving the quality and applicability this research demands, according to Van Dael. “It allows you to work with top researchers around the world, bringing together the best talent, state-of-the-art research facilities and the latest insights in the field. It also increases the social and industrial relevance of the work”, he explains. Collaboration within the TiFN collaboration is just as important. “Insights, values and approaches should be shared – and carried – by all our industry and research partners, in order to create a strong and solid basis for the future.”

From insight to application
Strengthening and extending the TiFN network is an important focus for the new board member, though not the only one. “I want to identify even more opportunities to translate TiFN insights into daily life applications”, he stresses. “The challenge is to find the optimum balance between long-term fundamental research – enabling radical industrial and societal innovations – and short-term benefits.” This will require a more-pragmatic approach, with realistic expectations of research time-frames and budgets.

Van Dael, who has already invited TiFN’s Managing Director Ronald Visschers to meet his DSM colleagues in Basel, is looking forward to the board meetings. “Together we will make great strides, strengthening and extending TiFN’s global influence.”

Dr Peter van Dael is Senior President Nutrition Science & Advocacy at the DSM Nutritional Products, based in Basel, Switzerland. He is responsible for developing, translating and executing DSM’s global nutrition science strategy. Prior to joining DSM, in August 2017, he worked for Mead Johnson Nutrition (Evansville, Indiana, USA), Nestlé Nutrition (Vevey, Switzerland) and Royal Numico (Rueil-Malmaison, France). Van Dael obtained an MSc in Human Nutrition at the University of Lausanne and successfully completed PhDs in Philosophy, and Food Chemistry at the University of Antwerp, where he also obtained his MBA.

First TiFN Retreat to optimise ways of working

14 September – TiFN has been a leading partner in food research and innovation for more than 20 years. One of our strengths is our strong community of leading experts. We pay a lot of attention to the professional development of our project leaders, team members and staff and invest in our way of working. We value the experiences that our project members acquire during the projects and we constantly look for ways to further improve ourselves using those experiences. Therefore, we have taken the initiative to organize the first TiFN Retreat. During the Retreat we will internally discuss our way of working and try to find improvements in order to deliver even better results.

The TiFN Retreat is open for invitees only.

6 June: AgriFoodTop Symposium

On June 6th the AgriFoodTop Symposium will take place. TiFN is co-host of this event. The central theme is “Emotion, the key to the consumer”. What are the results of the research projects funded by the Top sector Agri & Food (including some TiFN projects) in the past few years? How did the results benefit society?

Programme and registration

PLEASE NOTE: The language of the day is Dutch.

Vacancy project leader Regenerative Farming

A science-based outline of a potential regenerative-farming system in the Netherlands, combined with actionable transition scenarios, are the key deliverables of the newest project in the TiFN portfolio, Regenerative Farming. The four-year project, involving a broad range of partners from the private sector and knowledge institutes, will receive €2.5m funding from Topsector Agri&Food and the private sector.

For this project TiFN is searching for an experienced project leader, who will lead the new ‘regenerative farming’ project in 16-20 hrs per week, seconded from the current employer or as a freelancer. The project is planned to kick-off in September 2018, and will run for four years until 2022. More info


New project: Regenerative farming

A science-based outline of a potential regenerative-farming system in the Netherlands, combined with actionable transition scenarios, are the key deliverables of the newest project in the TiFN portfolio, Regenerative Farming. The four-year project, involving a broad range of partners from the private sector and knowledge institutes, will receive €2.5m funding from Topsector Agri&Food and the private sector.  

From complying with the Paris Climate Agreement’s net zero (human induced) greenhouse gas emissions commitment, to the circular and regenerative use of nutrients and soil, as described in the (Netherlands) National Raw Materials Agreement, the Dutch agricultural sector faces significant challenges on the road to meeting its long-term goals for sustainable food production. “Over time the sector needs to shift towards a production system with a neutral or positive impact on climate, soils, water and biodiversity”, says Wouter-Jan Schouten, Theme Director Food-Chain Sustainability at TiFN. “Current studies focus on specific areas or disciplines and aim to reduce negative impacts, but we are lacking research that takes an integrated systems perspective, with the aim of achieving positive impacts.”

Research strategy
Seeing this need for a systems approach, TiFN defined Regenerative Farming as a key direction in its research strategy for the coming years. “We have brought together eight research and industry partners who are committed to investing in this challenging project”, says Schouten. Partners include FrieslandCampina, Royal Cosun, BO Akkerbouw, Commonland, Wageningen University & Research, the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development (Utrecht University), the University of Amsterdam and Het Groene Brein.

Bridging the think-do gap
The project has five work packages: they include creating an integrated, contextual outline for a revised Dutch agricultural production system (by 2050); co-creating – together with arable farmers and dairy farmers – best practices in regenerative production, and shaping robust, quantified scenarios for transitioning to a regenerative production system at national scale. “Based on a thorough analysis of the technological, social, economic and policy barriers between the existing system and a regenerative system, we will develop actionable transition scenarios that can bridge the think-do gap”, Schouten illustrates.

The theme director is proud of the new public-private partnership. “We have brought together partners with the will and the potential to establish large-scale systemic change. Moreover, we have gathered a broad and diverse scientific consortium, embracing disciplines that include the political and social sciences, agro-ecology, agro-technology and economic research.”

For Schouten the project marks the beginning of a significant transition. “I hope that, within a few years, we will have consensus about what constitutes a future agricultural system with a neutral or positive impact on climate, soils, water and biodiversity, and that we will have created clear opportunities for action for establishing such a system. This will be crucial to ensure future value growth of the agrifood sector via regenerative production methods that positively impact both people and planet.”

The project is planned to kick-off early September 2018.

Field of hay bales. Harvesting at the end of the summer.

“New tools for selective breeding”

18 April 2018 – TiFN PhD fellow Sabine van Engelen spent quite a few hours in cow sheds, ensuring the sensors she installed did their job: measuring cows’ breath methane levels. “We were surprised with the difficulty to gather the data needed to predict methane emissions”, she says. 

Dairy farming produces vast volumes of the greenhouse gas methane, which is produced in the rumen of dairy cows and emitted via the breath. Selective breeding could be used to reduce these particular emissions. “It is, however, difficult to make quantitative measurements of a volatile component like methane”, says Van Engelen. “So we focussed on relative methane emissions: for example, does Bella 3 emit more methane than Bella 34?”

Three indicators
The PhD fellow used three indicators for methane emission: methane emission predicted with milk fatty-acid levels, breath-measured methane emission, and methane emission predicted with milk mid-infrared spectra. “Together, these indicators explained approximately forty four per cent of the total variation in methane emission”, says Van Engelen. The DNA of the cows contributed to between 3 and 44% of the variation found. “This implies that the indicators can be used for selective breeding targeted at reduced methane emission.”

Dusty cow-sheds
Collecting the huge amounts of data needed to draw these conclusions was not easy, stresses Van Engelen, who obtained her MSc in Animal Sciences at Wageningen University and worked as a research assistant, at the Animal Breeding and Genetics Department, before joining TiFN. “Breath-measurement sensors had to be installed in cow sheds throughout the Netherlands”, she says. “A dusty environment is not really suitable for highly-sensitive sensors: we got used to asking farmers to ‘wiggle the connectors’ to get the sensors working again, or actually go and repair them ourselves.”

Sensors were installed in the milking robot above the feed trough and had to perform 10-day continuous measurements in order to gather enough reliable data. “Sometimes it took months, at just one location, to collect enough data; at one point I was serious doubting if I would ever finish my PhD”, she smiles.

Speaking the same language
It took Van Engelen five years to complete her PhD. “It was so instructive” she says, “working with people from so many different backgrounds. Every discipline has its individual perspective, but we learned to speak the same language.” Breeding specialists, for example, usually study large numbers of animals, while microbiologists often use only four cows – but go into much more detail.

Van Engelen is now working as a data scientist at YOR Innovation, a company that creates sustainable innovations in agriculture around the world, from India to Africa. “The knowledge I gained, at TiFN, about sustainable agriculture is turning out to be very useful, as are my improved professional interpersonal skills. When there is an issue to be solved I know precisely how to approach it”, she illustrates. Van Engelen continues to benefit from the networks she built up during her PhD. “I encounter TiFN ex-colleagues, in different settings. This opens doors and facilitates the set-up of new partnerships.”

Want to know more about Van Engelen’s work? Click here.



TiFN and ZonMw present Delta Plan Nutrition Research to Dutch ministries

5 April 2018 – Today, the Delta Plan Nutrition Research was presented to the directors of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The Delta Plan provides the framework for the themes and research questions upon which the Netherlands should focus in order to develop groundbreaking innovations. Innovations that will lead to a healthy and sustainable supply of food products that the consumer will want to eat.

The Delta Plan Nutrition Research framework identifies the themes and knowledge questions to which the Netherlands should deploy resources to realize breakthroughs. The Plan calls for significant improvement in the coordination and prioritization of nutritional research in the Netherlands. A more coherent and integrated research policy is needed to increase the impact of nutritional research.

The three main themes of the Delta Plan

  1. Sustainable food and sustainable nutrition: the Netherlands should invest in the development of a framework to assess the sustainability and health characteristics of (ingredients of) food products. Research into how we can optimally use soil, water and raw materials must also be given priority, as should increasing the availability of healthy and sustainable products in shops.
  2. Nutrition and behavior: more knowledge is needed about how to make healthy and sustainable choices self-evident. Knowledge and insights about the determinants of food choice and eating behavior must be translated into effective interventions and policy measures. It is important to understand how (existing) interventions might reinforce each other.
  3. Nutrition and health: the Plan advocates research, into the relationship between nutrition and health, that addresses the entire spectrum from prevention to treatment. This requires more knowledge about the effects and mechanisms-of-action of diet in the prevention and treatment of diseases. This will need large-scale, long-term intervention research and fundamental studies. The added value of a personalized-nutrition approach to general dietary guidelines also merits research.

Rob Beudeker, Theme Director Nutrition and Health, was closely involved in the development of the Delta Plan: “Several Dutch research institutes and universities are among the world leaders in nutrition research. Joining forces will lead to real solutions for environmental, societal and health problems that are linked to nutrition. The Delta Plan is the first step to achieving optimal coordination and prioritization.”


TiFN projects impress Fromageries Bel delegation

4 April 2018 – We were happy to receive a delegation of our valued partner Fromageries Bel last week. Fromageries Bel has been a TiFN partner for some years and currently participates in two TiFN projects around food structuring and taste perception. Members of these two projects enthusiastically presented their work and impressed the delegates with the level of science and collaboration in the projects. 

The partner company was represented by Hubert Mayet (Executive Vice President Manufacturing and Technical Operations, Research and Innovation), Chantal Cayuela (Vice President Research & Innovation), Benoit Goldschmidt (Principle Senior Researcher) and Cecile Renault (Research Director). In addition to the TiFN representatives, the delegates met with Wageningen UR representatives Dr. Raoul Bino and Prof. Dr. Louise Fresco. During the visit Dr. Marcus Stieger and Dr. Marcel Meinders presented the projects’ results and, at several locations across the campus, a number of PhD students showcased their research.

The delegates were impressed by the research project and also by the facilities at Wageningen University & Research. Hubert Mayet expressed how the visit had convinced him that their investment in the TiFN projects was worth every euro. Together with the delegates new opportunities for cooperation were explored: Chantal Cayuela: “We reviewed the major ongoing projects and that convinced us that we have selected the right ones for us. Thanks to a clear explanation of the broader scientific context, by TiFN and Wageningen University & Research, we were able to look forward to what could be our next priorities.”

Fromageries Bel is a family owned company that specialises in developing and manufacturing affordable, high-quality, brand-name cheeses that are enjoyed around the world. Bel has 30 iconic brands including La Vache Qui Rit, Babybel, Leerdammer, Boursin and Kiri.




Krijn Rietveld deceased

29 January 2018 – Today, we received the sad news of the sudden and unexpected death of Krijn Rietveld. We express our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

As from mid-2016, Krijn was a board member of our TiFN foundation and since last December he was chairman of our board. He was eager to fulfill this role to the best of abilities. Together we were full of plans to shape the future of the Institute. Krijn was inspiring to us all and stimulated the values TiFN represents with much enthusiasm. He considered this role as a new challenge in his very rich career. Krijn’s cooperative yet decisive personality made him an outstanding chairman. He had a keen eye for complex situations and managed to find the right solutions quickly. We also experienced Krijn as a warm personality who was open to everybody. We are deeply saddened that we can no longer experience his cordial  support, and that we have to miss him as a dear colleague and friend. We sympathize with the grief of  and express our empathy to his Krijn’s family and friends who will miss his wonderful and special personality.

On behalf of the other current and former board members and the staff of TiFN

Ronald Visschers Managing Director


Former TiFN programme director Willem de Vos receives royal recognition

25 October 2017 – Former TiFN programme director Professor Willem de Vos has received the Order of the Netherlands Lion for his contribution to science, in particular, his work in biotechnology.

De Vos received the award from the mayor of Wageningen at a ceremony celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Microbiology chair group at Wageningen University. The mayor referred to De Vos as one of the most highly respected microbiologists in the world. De Vos is credited with countless scientific breakthroughs which he has managed to transform into innovative applications in biotechnology. Over the years he has picked up some major research awards, including the NWO’s Spinoza Prize and the EU’s ERC Grant, and has been described as the Netherlands’ most enterprising researcher, not least for the 25 or so patents held in his name and his founding or various start-ups.

De Vos is Head of Projects and Research at NIZO, Professor of Microbiology at Wageningen University, and Academy Professor of Human Microbiomics at the University of Helsinki. Between 2000 and 2007, De Vos was programme director at WCFS, the precursor of TiFN. During that time he made a significant contribution to the development of the institute and initiated many prestigious projects.



Editorial In Touch 2: A warm welcome!

21 October 2017 – It has been only 7 weeks since I started as the director of TiFN.  I have not yet met with all the people that are at the heart of this institute. Many of you are new to me but some are familiar or even old friends. But every encounter, from informal chat to attending a PhD defence, makes me proud of this wonderful institute. It is my ambition to establish a thriving project program portfolio and secure a good future for TiFN as the most renowned organizer of public private partnerships for the food industry.

I believe TiFN has three unique assets that can make this happen:

TiFN has a proud heritage: During the 20 years of its existence hundreds of PhD’s, technicians and scientist have learned new skills in our projects. Our work resulted in even more scientific papers and patents. We gained experience in conducting excellent science with industrial relevance and our methods for organizing the work, interacting with our stakeholders, safeguarding the confidentiality and securing the IP have solidified in what we call the “TiFN way of working”.  I believe this provides a sound basis for our future success and we will have to continue to update and improve on our skills.

TiFN comes with a new strategy: In 20 years the challenges in the food industry have changed and the TiFN portfolio has changed accordingly. A new vision and a focus on Health and Nutrition, Consumer Science and Sustainability has been developed in close collaboration with our board. This strategy provides a flexible framework for challenging research programs that deliver relevant results. You can read all about this new strategy in our summer magazine.

TiFN comes with great opportunities: The national science agenda (NWA) and the economic top-sector agenda’s including Agri & Food and Life Sciences & Health will soon be implemented. They will likely spawn projects that reach out across even more scientific disciplines and industrial sectors. In my opinion this can be a perfect match with TiFN’s fully independent nature and track record in establishing successful research programs with disciplines from different academic groups and, in some projects even industrial competitors.

Almost 20 years ago I started as a project leader at TiFN (in those days called WCFS). Who would have thought that I would be in this position 20 years later! Looking back, I think my curiosity as a scientist, my optimistic nature and my creative thinking have helped me to get to this point. Looking forward, I will need at least one thing more to have success: your enthusiasm as a TiFN supporter!


20th anniversary celebrated

25 July 2017 – On June 20th, TiFN celebrated its 20th anniversary with a barbecue party for its employees and former employees. Over sixty people raised their glasses on a beautiful past and a sunny future for TiFN! During the party, Ronald Visschers, the new director of TiFN, was introduced and had the occasion to meet all his predecessors.

During the preparations, it appeared that the address information of some former employees was not up to date. As a result, unfortunately, not all former employees could be invited. In order to to avoid this in the future, a Linkedin group “TiFN Alumni” has been created. In this group announcements for meetings and internal developments will be shared. All (former) employees can join this group.

To keep up to date on the developments within the projects of TiFN, you can sign up for InTouch, the TiFN newsletter.


Eight innovation challenges for the food industry

6 July 2017 – From malnutrition to overweight; from sustainable sourcing to consumer trust, the food industry is facing some of the most difficult issues of our time. TiFN has translated them into three research themes and eight innovation challenges.

At TiFN we believe only a holistic, systems approach can truly tackle the issues challenging our largest system, our planet. Such an approach would focus on providing healthy nutrition tailored to peoples’ individual needs, based on ‘smart’ food production, within the boundaries of our one planet, yet producing sufficient nutrition to to feed the global population. And, crucially, it would restore consumer engagement and trust: as a food manufacturer you can develop any product or technology you wish but, in the end, it is the consumer who decides to buy it or not.

The description of our three research themes and eight innovation challenges is reflected in our new magazine. You can download it here.

Dr Ronald Visschers appointed as managing director of TiFN

30 June 2017 – The board of TiFN is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Ronald Visschers as the new managing director. Ronald Visschers succeeds Marian Geluk. The appointment will be effective 28 August 2017.

Currently, Ronald Visschers is a principal advisor at TNO where he is responsible for the innovation strategy in the area of food quality and production. He holds a PhD in Biophysics from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and has been active in food research and innovation since 2000 when he joined NIZO Food Research. In 2008 he joined TNO as a programme manager and business line manager.

In his new role, Ronald will actively forge international public private partnerships innovation programs that strengthen the position of the Dutch Food sector and its innovative strength such as the Sustainable Food Initiative (SFI) and the World Food Center (WFC) research programme. “We are pleased that we can appoint Ronald Visschers as the new managing director. The Dutch food industry is rapidly gaining innovation strength and we expect that TiFN can play an important role in the new exciting developments such as the SFI, WFC and the Dutch topsector policy” say Krijn Rietveld and Margrethe Jonkman, co-chairs of TiFN.

Building a national nutrition research agenda together

22 June 2017 – At the invitational conference (27 June) of TiFN, Topsector Agri & Food and ZonMW, experts from research organizations, businesses and government will discuss which topics in nutritional research are the most important to invest in in the Netherlands. Goal of the conference is to establish a national agenda. The first draft of the Delta Plan Nutrition Research – a solid foundation for the future will be presented. Participants are invited to give feedback and to make suggestions for further clarification of the plan.

More information
Want to learn more about the meeting and the Delta Plan? Contact Wilke van Ansem, Program Officer JPI Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life at ZonMw,

Presentations TiFN at AgriFoodTop Symposium

8 June 2017 – On 7 June, TiFN was co-host of the AgriFoodTop Symposium. Board member Raoul Bino presented the new research vision of TiFN and Theme director Wouter-Jan Schouten gave the audience an insight in the philisophy of the new setup of the theme Sustainable Food Systems. Both presentations can be downloaded below.

Nominations TiFN Publication Prize 2016

1 June 2017 – Every year, TiFN awards a publication prize to recognise the best scientific publication. This year, eight authors will present their presentation at the AgriFoodTop Symposium (7 june, Wageningen) in a short pitch. The audience will decide who will be the winner of the Publication Prize 2016.

The nominees are:

  • Baranska A, Mujagic Z, Smolinska A ,Dallinga JW, Jonkers D,Tigchelaar-Feenstra EF, Dekens JAM, Zhernakova A, Ludwig T, Masclee AAM, Wijmenga C, Van Schooten FJ (2016) Volatile Organic Compounds in breath as marker for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: a metabolomic approach – Breath biomarkers for IBS. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 44: 45-56. doi:10.111/apt.13654
  • Devezeaux de Lavergne M, Strijbosch VMG, Van den Broek AWM, Van de Velde F, Stieger M (2016) Uncoupling the impact of fracture properties and composition on sensory perception of emulsion-filled gels. Journal of Texture Studies 47: 92-111. doi:10.1111/jtxs.12164
  • Fazelzadeh P, Hangelbroek RWJ, Tieland M, De Groot LCPGM, Verdijk LB, Van Loon LJC, Smilde A, Alves RDAM, Vervoort J, Muller M, Van Duynhoven J, Boekschoten MV (2016) The muscle metabolome differs between healthy and frail older adults. Journal of Proteome Research 15: 499-509. doi:10.1021/acs.jproteome.5b00840
  • Krawczyk AO, Berendsen EM, de Jong A, Boekhorst J, Wells-Bennik MH, Kuipers OP, Eijlander RT (2016) A transposon present in specific stains of Bacillus subtilis negatively affects nutrient- and dodecylamine-induced spore germination. Environmental Microbiology 18(12): 4830-4846 doi:10.1111/1462-2920.13386
  • Lech FJ, Delahaije RJBM, Meinders MBJ, Gruppen H, Wierenga PA (2016) Identification of critical concentrations determining foam ability and stability of β-lactoglobulin Food Hydrocolloids 57: 46-54. doi:10.1016/j.foodhyd.2016.01.005
  • Prodan A, Brand H, Imangaliyev S, Tsivtsivadze E, Van der Weijden F, De Jong A, Paauw A, Crielaard W, Keijser B, Veerman E (2016) A study of the variation in the salivary peptide profiles of young healthy adults acquired using MALDI-TOF MS. PLoS One 11(6): e0156707. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0156707
  • Tarazanova M, Beerthuyzen M, Siezen R, Fernandez-Gutierrez MM, De Jong A, Van der Meulen S, Kok J, Bachmann H (2016) Plasmid complement of Lactococcus lactis NCDO712 reveals a novel pilin gene cluster. PLoS One 11 (12): e0167970. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0167970
  • Van der Wielen N, Ten Klooster JP, Muckenschnabl S, Pieters R, Hendriks HF, Witkamp RF, Meijerink J  (2016) The noncaloric sweetener rebaudioside a stimulates glucagon-like peptide 1 release and increases enteroendocrine cell numbers in 2-dimensional mouse organoids derived from different locations of the intestine. Journal of Nutrition 146: 2429-2435.  doi:10.3945/jn.116.232678


Valorising waste via decision-support modelling

19 April 2017 – Reduction of waste production can bring substantial environmental and economic benefits, proving that investing in production technologies which allow reduction, reuse and recycling of food waste is really worthwhile. This is the conclusion from research by TiFN PhD fellow Aleksander Banasik.

Food waste is a major problem in today’s food industry. To remain competitive, partners, throughout the supply-chain, must adopt new technologies that reduce or valorise food waste. Their challenge is to maintain or increase economic output while simultaneously reducing the environmental impact of their production processes.

The many sides of sustainability
Designing such ‘eco-efficient’ supply-chains requires complex decision-support models that can deal with all aspects of sustainability while taking into account the characteristics of products and their supply chains. Banasik was the first to use the principle of multi-objective optimisation to quantify trade-offs between conflicting objectives, such as total profit (economic performance) and cumulative exergy losses (environmental impact). He proposed decision-support models for optimising the logistics of food-supply chains, and tested them in bread and mushroom supply chains.

The PhD fellow showed that reducing waste production can bring substantial environmental and economic benefits. “A finding that should encourage the food industry to invest in production technologies that allow the reduction, reuse and recycling of food waste”, he says.

“In the case of mushrooms, for example, the price of certain growth-medium ingredients is expected to increase substantially in the forthcoming years”, he illustrates. “Some of my colleagues and our industry partners came up with a technological innovation that allows for recycling part of the substrate-waste stream and using it as raw materials for production. This results in cost savings and reduces the environmental impact associated with waste disposal.”

Closing loops
Using the decision-support model, Banasik demonstrated that, at the chain level, great benefits can be obtained by introducing this technology into current production methods. “The findings also showed that it is actually possible to ‘close loops’ in food-supply chains, and that it pays off to apply uncertainties – such as demand patterns and prices of raw materials – in optimisation models.”

TiFN’s industry partners received the outcomes with enthusiasm; several follow-up studies have begun in both the bread and mushroom chains.






Editorial InTouch: Geared to success

mgeluk222 March 2017 – TiFN is currently revising its strategy in order to be best prepared for the future and to continue to be the most significant pre-competitive research platform in food and nutrition in the Netherlands. The focus of the new TiFN themes will be on nutrition & health, sustainable food systems and consumer engagement. The challenges in this themes are multifaceted and no simple solutions are to be found.

Typically matters TiFN should dive into and where we can create our greatest added value for our partners. This exciting and highly interactive strategy process will be completed in June 2017 and we look forward to share the result with you at the AgriFoodTop on June 7th. Please save the date!

In past months, we have launched a number of new projects. A clear sign that TiFN has successfully transformed since completing its FES period last year. For example, the new Sustainable Ingredients project, led by Marcel Meinders, which will focus on creating textures based on mix of animal and plant based proteins and working with less refined – and therefore defined – ingredients. A crucial step towards a more sustainable way to produce food. Most recently in the health area, we have set up a hugely challenging project addressing the individual health level, viz. Unravelling the biology behind perceivable consumer benefits, or in brief Glucose (M)apping, led by Ellen Blaak. If successful, the outcome of this project will be of paramount importance to individual health counselling programmes. We are building on many years of experience in metabolic processes, but also made a deliberate choice to neglect individual differences no longer, but to embrace them in our research approach. Danone, DSM, FrieslandCampina, Fromageries Bel and Unilever are investers in these projects, and I hope to see others joining soon. NWO and TKI Agri&Food are the public funders of these projects, but also of the other new projects in the TiFN portfolio. TiFN is grateful for their confidence and support. The total portfolio currently mounts to a total value of about 30M€.

Even though we are reviewing our strategic purpose, the TiFN values of Industrial relevance and scientific excellence still stand strong. Additionally,  we have  made societal relevance our third core value in a more prominent way. As before, TiFN project teams are still characterized by their critical mass: a mix of young and experienced scientists combined with professional experts. The project plans are thorough by design and flexible if needed; investing parties devote senior management to supervise the projects closely from start to end. Geared to success, and of course, a lot of fun along the way!

TiFN has welcomed quite some new people in the past months. Please read the article on Wouter-Jan Schouten (ex BCG), our new Theme Director Sustainable Food Systems. Rob Beudeker is the new Theme Director Nutrition and Health, and combines this with his position at DSM. Aafke van den Boom joined us in augustus 2016, and you can read about her as well in this newsletter.

You will also encounter Krijn Rietveld in this newsletter, a valued new member of the TiFN Board, and, together with Margrethe Jonkman, interim chairman of the Board. In the newsletters to come, we look forward to introduce you to all Board members of TiFN and their organizations, involved in the TiFN projects.

Finally as you may know, I will be leaving TiFN shortly to become director of FNLI, the Dutch federation of food producers. As such I will continue to strive for a strong industry that contributes to a healthy and sustainable society to the benefit of all consumers. So good-bye, thank you so much for the great cooperation. I wish TiFN all the success in the future, and I am looking forward to see you all soon again!

Kind regards,

Marian Geluk




Wooden signpost with two opposite arrows over green leaves background. YESTERDAY versus TOMORROW directional signs, Choice concept image





Addressing sustainability issues offers opportunities

29 March 2017 – In the autumn of 2016 Wouter-Jan Schouten joined TiFN as the new Theme Director Sustainable Food Systems. After a long career in management consulting, Wouter-Jan decided in 2013 to dedicate his career to driving sustainability in food systems: “Addressing sustainability issues offers interesting business opportunities.”

Wouter-Jan Schouten has a clear vision on sustainability in agri-food systems: “We face four issues in the food systems of today that need te be addressed. Half of the world population suffers from malnourishment, 75% of all farmers globally is poor, the food systems exceeds most planetary boundaries and the amount of food waste is much too high. Addressing these facts is a challenge, but offers also interesting opportunities for farmers, businesses and the society.”

Essential for success is a holistic approach, says Wouter-Jan: “We need to change our core approach to sustainability from fragmented, reductionist efforts to combating negative impacts, towards long-term holistic programmes. Therefore we need to establish coalitions that focus on transforming specific combinations of interrelated agri-landscapes, value chains and consumer markets. It is crucial that these coalitions appreciate the importance of collaborative learning as a first step to identify and capture the opportunities for growth and value creation.”

The holistic approach applies to conducting research as well: “All factors are connected. To develop meaningful knowledge, we need to conduct multidisciplinary research. In our new programmes I would like to bring together experts in ecology, economy, sociology and agrotechnology to come to science-based methods for the transition to sustainable food systems. I also want to involve businesses in a much earlier stage than usually. The transition to sustainability is only possible when science and business have a tight and early connection. To achieve this we need to combine fundamental and applied research within the same programs.”

As the new Theme Director Sustainable Food Systems, Wouter-Jan expects to be able to contribute to the creating of new coalitions that can accelerate the transition to sustainable food systems. He identifies opportunities on three topics: “Regenerative agriculture with healthy business models for Dutch farmers, minimal processing and the optimal use of biomass and prevention of food waste.” Currently, new TiFN programmes are drafted on these topics.

Next to his role at TiFN, Wouter-Jan is also senior advisor at NewForesight Consultancy, a specialized firm that is supporting many sustainability platforms in the global food sector. In this capacity he recently published a discussion paper ‘New Horizons for the transition of our Food Systems: connecting Ecosystems, Value Chains and Consumers







Reducing methane emissions in the dairy sector

22 March 2017 – The international dairy sector has set eleven criteria to come to a sustainable way of working. One of these criteria is the reduction of the emission of greenhouse gasses. The recently finished TiFN project ‘Reduced methane emissions of dairy cows’ shows that selective breeding can reduce methane emissions of dairy cows.

The Dairy Sustainability Framework, which unites many international sector organisations, has set eleven criteria to come to a sustainable dairy sector. Globally, improvements on soil nutrients, soil quality, biodiversity and animal welfare are needed. The sector also needs to significantly reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses. These emissions vary greatly between different parts of the world. In North-Europe, where cows have a large life milk production, greenhouse gas emissions are relative low per litre milk. Nevertheless, the Dutch dairy sector aims for a further reduction and wants to achieve a 30% reduction by 2020.

Fig 1. The emissions of greenhouse gases from a dairy farm are made up mainly of, methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). In general, the split is 50%, 30% and 20%, respectively. Source: GLEAM (The Global Livestock Environmental Assessment Model)

More than half of the global-warming impact of milk production is caused by methane production from cows. To find clues how to reduce these emissions, several parties in the sector joined hands in 2012 and started the TiFN-project ‘Reduced methane emissions of dairy cows’. Project partners were CRV, Lely Industries, Qlip, Centraal Bureau Levensmiddelenhandel, ZuivelNL, Federatie Nederlandse Levensmiddelen Industrie, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Wageningen UR.


A seminar to mark the end of the project was held on March 14 in Wageningen. During the seminar, results obtained in the project were presented and implementation of results was discussed. The seminar attracted about 85 participants representing many actors involved in the topic, such as farmer representatives, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, breeding, dairy and feed industry, and research.

The first step in the project was to develop methods to measure the methane emissions of individual cows. The project team developed two indicators. One indicator is based on the milk composition, the other one is based on air expelled by cows. Both indicators were used to collect methane emissions of large numbers of individual cows on commercial dairy farms. These data of both indicators give breeding organisation CRV valuable clues to reduce methane emissions through breeding.

Marleen Visker, one of the three postdocs involved in the project: “We found that milk composition can explain the emissions for about 50%. Expelled air also explains about 50%. Since both indicators seem to explain different parts of the emissions, a combination of both indicators is expected to capture most of the emissions. In our calculations around 10% of the differences between cows in methane emissions are due to genetics. Since we can use the data of many daughters of each bull, we can reliably establish the genetic merit for methane emissions of such bulls. This is valuable information for CRV to influence the emissions by selection. Current selection strategies reduce the methane emission per kg of milk with 0.7% per year. The indicators developed in this project are expected to contribute to an even further reduction.”

The outcome of the project serves as a building block to come to lower emissions. To come to a sustainable sector, also the other ten criteria of The Dairy Sustainability Framework should be fulfilled. TiFN is currently developing programmes on some of these topics. One thought is how regenerative production can be achieved within one generation in the Dutch agriculture landscape, including economic and social consequences. What mix of land based and landless (stables, greenhouse) production systems fits within planetary boundaries? What type of production can best be done at what location? And how much output can thus be achieved in a net positive system? If you are interested in this new programme, please contact Wouter-Jan Schouten for further information.






“Creating TiFN teamspirit with SharePoint”

22 March 2017 –  Seven months ago Aafke van den Boom was appointed as theme coordinator at TiFN. Together with Rianne Hermus, she is responsible for a smooth organization within the projects. Furthermore, one of her main tasks is to implement SharePoint for the project teams.

aafke2Van den Boom: “SharePoint makes cooperation easier. By managing all documents in one place, every project member always has access to the latest versions. Additionally, you can keep each other informed of the latest developments. Via chat and news feed features you can create team spirit, even if the members are spread across the country or even the world”. SharePoint is a new tool for many project members. Aafke is the first point of contact for questions, but also promotes the use: “I send the teams regular emails with tips for using SharePoint.”

Aafke, who is an alumnus of Wageningen University, is passionate about her work: “It strikes me that the project teams and staff are full of ambition and enthusiasm. For example, the Ambition2Results workshops of the Sharp, Trade-offs and Spores teams are full of energy and have been a great opportunity to quickly learn who is who and what TiFN projects are about. I feel fine in this environment and it stimulates me. I think TiFN is a great place to work and I hope to contribute to realizing our ambitions.”








“Spot-on topics that yield valuable knowledge”

22 March 2017 –  “Currently, health and sustainability are by far the greatest themes in the food sector,” says Krijn Rietveld, Senior Vice President Partnering for Innovation at DSM and member of the board at TiFN: “Consequently, the new TiFN programmes are spot-on , designed to yield valuable knowledge that contributes to a healthier and more sustainable society.”

Rietveld works on starting up and developing innovation-led partnerships within DSM’s food division: “We are a global market leader in important ingredients in food. To hold onto that position we need to take the lead in innovation. This means a great deal of investment in R&D. In addition, we collaborate with the world’s leading lights in our professional fields. For example, we have built relations with MIT and, among others, the universities of Munich, Delft, Leuven, Wageningen, Groningen and Maastricht.”

The perfect vehicle for joint ventures
Rietveld notes that the sector devotes much of its energy to the development of healthier products and sustainable production methods: “In the past, it sometimes seemed largely that lip service was being paid to those principles. Matters are really different now and industry wants to take big strides forward. We assist our customers – virtually all in the world’s top 40 food producers – to reduce the quantity of sugar and salt in their products without sacrificing flavour. To do this we have developed sugar and salt substitutes as well as natural flavour enhancers based on yeast and yeast extracts.” In terms of sustainability, DSM works on products that will increase the efficiency of production processes. For example, a DSM enzyme enables a brewer to bypass a cooling stage in the brewing process. This translates into a 5 to 7% energy saving for the brewer. “However, the sector still needs to make significant progress,” expresses Rietveld: “I believe the solutions will be feasible only if we collaborate in developing them. TiFN is an ideal vehicle for joint ventures of that sort. TiFN engages the best experts in a programme and provides focus through its strict programme management. We benefit from this as an industrial partner, because the project is kept on track, and it means we can expect optimum results.”

More investment in TiFN programmes

At present, DSM is taking part in four TiFN programmes: Cardiovascular Health, Muscle Health and Function , SHARP-BASIC and Perceivable Benefits. Notably, none of the programmes is directing a specific focus of attention on the development of ingredients. Rietveld: “We are investing in the projects in order to develop underlying knowledge – often together with our customers. If this allows us simultaneously to develop a new product then all well and good, of course, but that is never the most important goal.” Nevertheless, Rietveld does not discount that this might change in the near future: “We want to invest more in TiFN programmes. We also have a great deal of interest on the subjects of minimal processing, clean labelling and fermentation technology. We have direct commercial interests in this and, consequently, we are keen to invest in robust research programmes in those fields.”

Shorter post-graduate projects
Rietveld advocates a secondary format for TiFN programmes: “Programmes often last up to four years. Sometimes this is too long for us. Particularly with strategic subjects in mind, it’s a good idea to provide shorter programmes of two to three years as well. Research in programmes of that sort is carried out by post-graduates. We’re then able to amass new knowledge more quickly and thus also respond more quickly to developments. I don’t think that DSM would be alone in benefiting from this.”

A unique type of partnership
Rietveld notes that TiFN is unique in terms of bringing together leading players in the field of nutrition: “There is intensive programme collaboration between Wageningen, Maastricht, Groningen, NIZO and others. We benefit from this by having leading experts in the project teams who work well together. This owes itself in part to distances within the Netherlands, but it’s worth noting that you seldom come across this degree of cooperation in other international partnerships.”







Rob Beudeker joins TiFN

12 January 2017 – As of January 1,  Rob Beudeker joins TiFN as Theme Director Nutrition and Health.

Rob has extensive experience in research and development in the food industry. He had several functions at DSM and will combine his role at TiFN with his role as Senior Investment Manager at DSM Venturing. Rob is responsible for the investment in start-up companies active in nutrition.

He was active as VP Innovation at Human Nutrition and Health at DSM between 2010-2016. He has an MSc in biology and PhD in microbiology from the University of Groningen. He did a post-doc at the University of Texas at Austin in molecular biology after which he joined Gist-brocades (now DSM) R&D in 1984. He got an MBA from the Universities of Rotterdam and Rochester (NY).

Rob’s network and experience in the food industry will be highly valuable for taking TiFN’s research portfolio on nutrition and health to the next level.

Rob is the successor of Rolf Bos, who left TiFN at the end of December 2016 to fully concentrate on his job at FrieslandCampina. We look forward to continue working together with him in this new form and we thank him for the great work he has done for TiFN.





Wouter-Jan Schouten joins TiFN

1 November 2016 – As of November 1,  Wouter-Jan Schouten joins TiFN as Theme Director Food Chain Sustainability & Dynamics.

Wouter-Jan has 24 years of experience in management consulting, mostly in the food industry and increasingly focused on sustainability. During his long career at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) he has worked with many of our business partners. With BCG he also supported the Topsector Agri & Food in developing the sector agenda in 2011.

After he left BCG in 2013, Wouter-Jan has dedicated his career to driving sustainability in food systems. He will combine his role at TiFN with his role as senior advisor at NewForesight, a specialized consulting firm that is supporting many sustainability platforms in the food sector. At NewForesight he continues to work with a number of our business partners, for example in the development of the Dairy Sustainability Framework in the global dairy sector.

Wouter-Jan’s network and experience in the food industry combined with his passion for driving sustainability will be highly valuable for takingTiFN’s research portfolio on food chain sustainability to the next level.




Toine Timmermans leaves TiFN

19 September 2016 –Toine Timmermans will resign as Theme Director Food Chain Sustainability & Dynamics shortly. In the past five years Toine was one of the driving forces that developed topics related to sustainability into a full-fledged theme within TiFN. Evaluations show that the projects within the theme provide valuable new insights for society, science and industry.

After his departure Toine will focus on his activities at Wageningen UR. We look forward to continue working together with him in this new form and we thank him for the great work he has done for TiFN. Here at TiFN we will continue to work to expand this important theme. Until a successor for Toine is found, Marian Geluk  will take over his TiFN responsibilities.





Guidelines for increased resource-efficiency

8 September 2016 – A new tool for the food industry to measure environmental performance and determine how they can improve processes and production chains is the outcome of research by TiFN’s PhD fellow Dr Filippos Zisopoulos. He defended his thesis September 7, 2016 at Wageningen University. His work offers the industry new guidelines for sustainable-chains design.

Around the world more and more companies are looking to increase resource-efficiency throughout their processes and production chains. This is a challenging task, however, as so many factors need to be considered. Exergy is an objective metric in the assessment of resource efficiency. “It is based on the first and second laws of thermodynamics, and it quantifies the available work that can be extracted from a stream or a process in relation to a selected reference environment, explains Zisopoulos. “The concept is popular in the energy and construction sectors, but has not yet been fully exploited in the food industry.”

Bread, mushrooms and drying

The PhD fellow carried out three case studies in order to define general rules that could help in the design of more-sustainable processes. He used industrial-bread production, mushroom cultivation and a conventional, energy-consuming, drying process. “We wanted to pinpoint the exergy-inefficient locations and gain an understanding of the reasons for these inefficiencies.”

Zisopoulos learnt that closing-mass balances should be the first priority in improving the resource-efficiency of a food production chain. “Unused material side-streams translate into wasting considerable amounts of chemical exergy”, he explains. “Moreover, recycling material streams to create new products can improve the efficiency of the chain but only as long as it comes at a reasonable additional exergy cost for re-processing.” He also learned that decisions regarding chain improvement should be based on the nature and size of the exergy losses.

General rules

Based on these findings, Zisopoulos defined a set of general rules that food manufacturers can use when they want to increase resource efficiency in their processes and production chains. The PhD fellow, who is currently working as a research assistant at Wageningen University, is proud of this outcome: “The guidelines have been developed in close agreement with TiFN’s industry partners and are easily applicable to current business processes. Moreover, it pleases me that my work is recognized as valuable.”

Zisopoulos, open for new job opportunities in academia or industry, looks back on his TiFN time with pleasure. “This project has been a really great team job. There was a good match with the partners and also within the project team, with easy-going communication and people determined to get along very well with each other.”

The thesis can be found here.





Annual Conference 2016: Springboard for innovation

29 June 2016 – The industrial value of collaboration within TiFN was the central theme of the 7th Annual Conference, held June 1st in Wageningen. Industry partners shared the impact of the latest TiFN-generated scientific insights with the audience of around 100, who enjoyed an inspiring, informative day extending knowledge and networks.

The Annual Conference, now in its 7th year, is open to TiFN research and industry partners only. The 2016 programme included lectures, publication pitches and interactive breakout sessions – organized together with AgriFoodTop, TKI Agri&Food’s key networking event – and allowed participants to immerse themselves in current issues such as immunology and allergy, the biology behind perceivable consumer benefits and improvement of product and process quality by structure. The event also saw the award of TiFN’s annual Publication Prize, and the Dutch final of Ecotrophelia, a food-design competition for students.

New research projects
“We have entered a new phase and are moving ahead strongly”, said Marian Geluk, MSc, Managing Director at TiFN. “Our current research portfolio and pipeline – worth around 35 million Euros – is strong across all our themes.” TiFN is in the middle of setting up two new research programmes, in collaboration with NWO-ALW and TKI Agri&Food. “These will focus on safeguarding product quality while using new sustainable sources, and unravelling the biology behind perceivable consumer benefits.”

Lectures by industry partners – Hester Klein Lankhorst from the Netherlands Institute for Sustainable Packaging (KIDV), Dr Marcel Wubbolts from DSM, Dr Margrethe Jonkman from FrieslandCampina and Dr Hanno Cappon from Danone – highlighted how TiFN functions as a springboard for innovation. “Working together multiplies your research investment financially and intellectually, as long as you have clearly defined your strategy first. Then, you can seize the opportunities out there”, said Cappon.

Research carried out via TiFN can have a great impact on society. Illustrative is the work done in the area of Muscle Health and Function, which supports Danone Nutricia in the development of products that, for example, reduce loss of muscle mass in the elderly and help improve rehabilitation after surgery. As Cappon put it: “Industrial relevance is societal relevance in a healthy economic equation.”

For a photo impression of the Annual Conference, click here.




New logo marks new phase

26 May 2016 – As of 1 june 2016 we have changed our name into TiFN. A new logo and house style mark the new phase of our institute. 

TI Food and Nutrition was founded in 1997 as the independent technological top institute Wageningen Centre for Food Sciences (WCFS). With the finalization of the so called FES funds of Ministry of Economic Affairs in 2016, the “brand” top institute ceases to exist. The TiFN partners wish to continue to collaborate, so TiFN has reformed to continue to deliver on its promise: scientific excellence and industrial relevance.

Taking it a step further, at the end of the day TiFN research is directed to make life better, for society, for you and for me. Whether it is to contribute to the prevention of development of food & lifestyle related diseases or to significant contributions in the transition to a sustainable production of food.

So, TI Food and Nutrition is proud to announce its new name, which is already so well known: TiFN.




What is the chain’s environmental impact?

26 May 2016 – TiFN has developed a simulation model in the ‘Valorisation of Raw Materials and Process Efficiency’ project which gives a verdict on the environmental impact of a process, product or chain based on exergy. Exergy is a measure of the total consumption of energy, raw materials, water, chemicals and by-products. The less exergy that is lost, the greater the raw material efficiency and thus the lower the  environmental impact.

The complete production chain is represented in the TEM model (TiFN Exergy and Multicriteria Decision-Making Model) and allows scenarios to be extrapolated. What would happen if different raw materials were used? What would be the environmental impact of a new step in the process? What would be the effect of processing the residue flows (differently)? What would happen if distribution were organised differently? The model also illustrates the financial effects and the consequences in terms of production quality. By this means, companies can make fast, straightforward assessments of the investments that might be of interest to them. The project has analysed production chains in collaboration with the business community, focussing in particular on chip production, the bread chain, the mushroom chain and the vegetables chain. In the latter case, a comparison was made between seasonal, imported and deep-frozen vegetables.

C4C: “Simply mapping this out has proved a learning curve in itself”
Caroline van der Horst, R&D manager at the substrate producer for the mushroom growers C4C, has also tested the TEM Model: “Continued efforts for increasing sustainability are unavoidable. The processing of residue flows is a key business for us. A model that’s able to help us further optimise that business is always welcome. ‘Playing’ with the model is even more educational. All at once you can investigate options that you’d never get to test in practice because they’d have too great an impact on production.”



Reducing loss of fresh produce

26 May 2016 – A model has been developed in the project entitled ‘Reduction of Spoilage in Fresh and Chilled Products’ that helps supermarkets and suppliers to limit the loss of fresh produce. The model provides information on the effects of specific technology, logistical measures and marketing measures. Users can use this knowledge, for example, to organise  the ordering process differently or to ascertain in which direction they might want to invest where a solution is offered.

The models have been developed using field data from the chains for meat and iceberg lettuce. Thanks to the unique design, the model structure can be employed for other chains with relative ease and can cater to specific conditions within a chain. The project has developed a  library of model components that will soon become freely available. Consequently, consultants and researchers will be theoretically able to make a precise model for each fresh food chain.

Albert Heijn: “Optimised ordering process”
Albert Heijn is one of the two retailers involved in development of the Decision Support Model. Peter Werre, Project Manager for Strategic Sourcing Support at Albert Heijn: “Limiting food wastage has been a hot topic at our outlets for years. This TiFN project has enabled us to put our ordering process under the spotlight. It spurred us on to e valuate our ordering algorithm and to mak e adjustments where necessary. As a result, we have created a fresh opportunity to drive back food wastage still further.”





1 June: Annual Conference TiFN

On 1 June TiFN will organise the seventh edition of the Annual Conference in Wageningen (Hotel de Wageningsche Berg, Generaal Foulkesweg 96, 6703 DS Wageningen). This year several partners will give their view on cooperation within TiFN and share insights in recent scientific developments. Eleven authors will compete for the Publication Prize 2015. Of course there will also be plenty of time to catch up with colleageus and to meet new people. The afternoon session of the Annual Conference is organised together with the AgriFoodTop, the network event of TKI Agri & Food.

You find the full programme of the Annual Conference here.

annual conference 2016


Nominations TiFN Publication Prize 2015

26 May 2016 – Every year, TiFN awards a publication prize to recognise the best scientific publication. This year, for the first time, eleven authors will present their presentation at the Annual Conference (1 june, Wageningen) in a short pitch. The audience will decide who will be the winner of the Publication Prize 2015.

The nominees are:

  • Gijsbers L, Dower JI, Mensink M, Siebelink E, Bakker SJ and Geleijnse JM Effects of sodium and potassium supplementation on blood pressure and arterial stiffness: a fully controlled dietary intervention study. Journal of Human Hypertension, 29, 592 – 598. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2015.3 Abstract can be found here
  • Zhernakova A, Kurilshikov A, Bonder MJ, Tigchelaar EF, Schirmer M, Vatanen T, Mujagic Z, Vich A, Falony G, Vieira-Silva S, Wang J, Imhann F, Brandsma E, Jankipersadsin SA, Joossens M, Cenit MC, Deelen P, Swertz MA, Weersma RK, Feskens EJM, Netea MG, Gevers D, Jonkers D, Franke L, Aulchenko YS, Huttenhower C, Raes J, Hofker MH, Xavier RJ Wijmenga C and Fu J Population-based metagenomics analysis reveals markers for gut microbiome composition and diversity. Science, 352, 565 – 569. doi:10.1126/science.aad3369 Abstract can be found here
  • Hangelbroek RWJ, Fazelzadeh P, Tieland M, Boekschoten MV, Hooiveld GJEJ, Van Duynhoven JPM, Timmons J, Verdijk LB, De Groot LCPGM, Van Loon LJC and Muller M Expression of protocadherin gamma in skeletal muscle tissue is associated with age and muscle weakness. doi:10.1002/jcm.12009 Abstract can be found here
  • Backx EMP, Tieland M, Borgonjen-van den Berg KJ, Claessen PR, Van Loon LJC and De Groot LCPGM Protein intake and lean body mass preservation during energy intake restriction in overweight older adults. International Journal of Obesity, 40, 299 – 304. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2015.182 Abstract can be found here
  • Groen BBL, Horstman AMH, Hamer HM, De Haan M, Van Kranenburg J, Bierau J, Poeze M, Wodzig WKWH, Rasmussen BB and Van Loon LJC Post-prandial muscle protein synthesis: “You are what you just ate”. PLoS One, 10, e0141582. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141582 Abstract can be found here
  • Metselaar KI, Den Besten HMW, Boekhorst J, Van Hijum SAFT, Zwietering MH and Abee T Diversity of acid stress resistant variants of Listeria monocytogenes and the potential role of ribosomal protein. Frontiers in Microbiology, 2, 422. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00422 Abstract can be found here
  • Berendsen EM, Boekhorst J, Kuipers OP and Wells-Bennik MHJ A mobile genetic element profoundly increases heat resistance of bacterial spores. International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal (ISME), 1 – 17. doi:10.1038/ismej.2016.59 Abstract can be found here
  • Rovers TAM, Sala G, Van der Linden E and Meinders MBJ Effect of temperature and pressure on the stability of protein microbubbles. ACS Applied materials and interfaces, 8, 333 – 340. doi: 10.1021/acsami.5b08527 Abstract can be found here
  • Liu K, Tian Y, Stieger M, Van der Linden E and Van de Velde F Evidence for ball-bearing mechanism of microparticulated whey protein as fat replacer in liquid and semi-sold multi-component model foods. Food Hydrocolloids, Abstract can be found here
  • Tromp S, Haijema R, Rijgersberg H and Van der Vorst J On preventing chilled-food waste at the retail outlet. International Journal of Production Economics, submitted
  • Van Gastelen S, Antunes-Fernandes EC, Hettinga KA, Klop G, Alferink SJJ, Hendriks WH and Dijkstra J Enteric methane production, rumen volatile fatty acid concentrations, and milk fatty acid composition in lactating Holstein-Friesian cows fed grass silage- or corn silage-based diets. Journal of Dairy Science, 98, 1915 – 1927. 10.3168/jds.2014-8552  Abstract can be found here