MSc project related to SISTERS being performed at KTH University
Maja Lundell is a master student in the program of Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology at KTH University, she is doing her master thesis (30 ECTS, from January to June 2023) in Dr. Amparo J. Quero’s group and co-supervised by the postdoc Dr. Pamela Freire.
The project aims valorise residues from The Real Green Food Co‘s production, mushroom stems in this case by developing a bioprocess for the production of novel food packaging and/or coatings. That will comprise the extraction of valuable compounds from food loss as additives in food packaging applications. The functionalities of the target compounds should increase the shelf life of the food to reduce food waste at the end of the value chain (e.g. antioxidant, antimicrobial or mechanical improvement of the packaging formulations).
Maja is investigating the extraction and downstream processes for the obtention of bio-additive and the verification of its properties towards the specific applications. The approach will include the use of green extraction processes, analytical characterization of active compounds and characterization of the material properties for food packaging.
Pamela Freire: What is your point of view on doing research to fight Food Lost and waste? What are you future research plans?
“I’m enthusiastic about the integration of food waste and packaging development because it is a promising field for innovation and sustainability, particularly in addressing our current challenges of environmental pollution and natural resource depletion. From food waste, we can recover several bioactive compounds and macromolecules able to give origin to materials with unique functional properties. Moreover, this approach promotes circularity by reducing waste and pollution. In my future research plans, I aim to explore the full potential of food waste in developing packaging solutions for the food sector, including the development of active and edible packaging that can confer health benefits and be consumed along with the food product.”
Maja Lundell: Why do you decide to do this project for your master thesis? And how do you see the problematic of the food waste? What do you think you can bring to solve the problem as a future biotech engineer?
“I chose this project because I think the valorization of compounds from waste propose endless opportunities not only in reducing waste, but utilizing the earths resources in the best way possible. In addition, using it to actively prolong shelf life of foodstuff would add another layer to its reduction of food ware and loss. I think this is an exciting thought, since the best thing we as consumers can do for the environment is to not waste food and the industry needs to help enable this. Regardless of the “good” choices we make, any food not wasted is a win for the environment. I think it is important to keep developing circular industries and novel ways of using less for more, not only in food but stretching over all possible sectors. That is a big part of what I’m looking to bring with me into my professional career, in biotech there are endless possibilities to do so within food, textile, energy and so much more.”
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