Research Methods


In this project we gather, explore, showcase and disseminate the innovative food quality assessment methods that are using smart technologies and enabling precision food production according to consumer preferences. These novel strategies have a potential to generate technological advancements in food quality evaluation that allow both, small and large-scale food producers to implement precision food production. Integration of proposed methods (3D food printing, computer vision system, electronic eye, non-destructive methodology and surface analysis of food product) creates a comprehensive and unique arsenal of tools for transforming the V4+ agriculture into the food industry 4.0.

3D Food Printing

An innovative technology such as 3-D printing of food products can be used by re-using food waste (e.g. whey) as starting ingredients/materials to make new food/edible coating products. 3D‐printing has gained phenomenal attention due to its scalable and rapid prototyping of 3D structures from various precursor materials. Flexibility in structural design, waste minimization, mass customization and complex architectural manufacturing are some of the notable features of this printing technique.

Experts in the field

Experts in the field:
doc. Mgr. Soňa Hermanová, Ph.D.
Institute of Food Technology
Faculty of Agronomy
Mendel University in Brno
Zemědělská 1 / 613 00 Brno – budova A, M
Phone: +420 545 133 200

Offer For Business

  • Cooperation in research and development

Non-Destructive Analytical Methods
For Food Quality Evaluation

A novel, state of the art non-destructive analytical method will be developed (designed, calibrated, tested and validated) with the capability to provide rapid and objective results in digital form about food quality. The developed method can provide “fingerprint” like characterisation of the tested foods, but using the developed calibration selected quality parameters can be also determined in a non-destructive manner. The developed new method can be later adapted for the rapid evaluation of further food products (e.g. high-protein (whey proteins) chocolate without sugar content, honey, fruits) which can support the precision food production (i.e. optimal use of raw materials in production, waste reduction etc.). Near-infrared spectrophotometers will be applied using the Metrohm NIRSystems benchtop and the NIR-S-G1 handheld spectrophotometer applicable for the analysis of the various forms of foods and raw materials. The near-infrared spectra of the tested samples combined with the adequate chemometric models will provide the rapid and objective characterisation of the tested food samples giving information from both physical and chemical/compositional properties of the sample. The methods developed on the benchtop spectrophotometer provides highly accurate results in laboratory environment while the methods developed on the handheld spectrophotometer can be useful in field applications.

Experts in the field

Experts in the field:
Dr. Zoltan Kovacs, full professor
Department of Measurements and Process Control
Institute of Food Science and Technology
Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences
H-1118 Budapest, Somlói street 14-16.
Phone: +3613057623

Offer For Business

  • Rapid, chemical-free quality evaluation of agricultural food raw materials, intermediate and final products
  • Optimization of process parameters based on the in-line measurements of the products
  • Non-destructive origin identification of agricultural raw materials and food products
  • Monitoring bioprocesses
  • Model development for qualitative and quantitative characterization of agricultural raw
    materials and food products
  • Fingerprint analysis for the on-the-spot quality evaluation of food with handheld device

Computer Vision System (CVS)

A novel, state of the art Computer Vision System will be developed (designed, constructed, calibrated and validated) with the ability to achieve instant, online and digital food quality evaluation. After its validation, CVS will be used to develop new methods for a quality evaluation of food products, e.g. highprotein (whey proteins) chocolate without sugar content. CVS will be applied with the use of Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 digital camera (10.2 Megapixel CCD sensor, SONY, Tokio, Japan). The color will be expressed in terms of the International Commission on Illumination (CIELAB) color space with the coordinates being L* (0–100, estimation of lightness), a* (redgreen) and b* (yellowblue). The noted differences between colors and shades could be described as visible color changes according to the NBS (National Bureau of Standard) reference scale, which implies that such changes are perceptible to the human eye.

Experts in the field

Experts in the field:
Igor Tomašević, Associate professor
Food Science and Technology
Faculty of Agriculture
University of Belgrade

Offer For Business

  • Determination of food quality using Computer Vision System
  • Consultig in food safety and quality management
  • Cooperation in food research and development

Methodology Of Electronic Eye

The color of innovative food products, e.g. high-protein (whey proteins) chocolate without sugar content, will be assessed by an electronic eye (IRIS VA400; Alpha M.O.S., France) and compared with results obtained with CVS. Alpha MOS IRIS visual analyzer is camera-based imaging system designed for visual assessment of products appearance. IRIS VA 400 Visual Analyzer system is composed of two elements: the IRIS cabinet housing the lighting software-controlled CMOS camera (16 million colors) for picture acquisition under controlled conditions and a computer (provided by Alpha MOS) for system monitoring, data acquisition and multivariate statistics processing with AlphaSoft software. The analysis with IRIS instrument consists of taking a picture using the complementary metal-oxide semiconductor technology camera operating with RGB and L*, a* and b* parameters of the spectrum classification. The pictures are then processed as a color spectrum, with the surface of each significant color calculated in percentage. The visual aspect of products, and especially food products, is strongly linked with quality in consumers’ mind. Therefore, color and appearance are crucial sensory parameters for products success and need to be reliably and consistently monitored. By achieving instrumental analysis of the overall visual appearance, both color measurement and shape analysis, IRIS machine vision addresses the needs for visual quality control and inspection systems. This visual analyser provides wide range of applications: visual characterization of complex products, competition benchmarking and consumer palatability, shelf-life and freshness control, characterization of defects and foreign products, process monitoring, quality control and batch to batch consistency testing.

Experts in the field

Experts in the field:

Ing. Viera Ducková, PhD.
Institute of Food Sciences
Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Science
Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra
Tr. A. Hlinku 2, 949 76 Nitra

Ing. Miroslav Kročko, PhD.
Department for Evaluation
and Processing of Animal Products
Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Sciences
Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Faculty
Tr. A. Hlinku 2, 949 76 Nitra

Offer For Business

  • Determination of batch uniformity based on color,
  • Checking shelf-life and freshness based on color,
  • Color comparison with competing products.

Surface Analysis And Textural
Rheological Properties Of Food Product

Roughness: the method is very useful for soft and hard surfaces of food product of any kind. It is digitalized, very objective and allows a very detailed analysis of surface roughness, which is visible even to the naked eye. The analysis helps to determine the impact of type and quantity of ingredients used on the surface roughness of the finished product (smoothing/roughing effect). The sample surface is not destroyed in the measurement process. The obtained 3D images are analyzed by a computer program and different roughness parameters can be calculated. Optical microscopy: the microstructure of food products will be observed using a polarising optical microscope Eclipse E600Pol (Nikon, Tokyo, Japan) at 40, 100, 200 magnitude. 3D images obtained from the optical microscope allow to evaluate the surface microstructure. Viscoelastic properties: the viscosity over a range of different shear rates and temperatures, as well as storage (G’) and loss (G″) moduli of the food products will be measured using Kinexus lab + rheometer (Malvern Panalytical, Cambridge, United Kingdom) using plate–plate configuration. The results will be gathered and processed using a rSpace software. Profile texture analysis (TPA): all texture measurements of tested product will be performed using the TA-XT2i Texture Analyser (Stable Micro Systems, Godalming, Surrey, UK). By measuring texture properties, it is possible to objectively assess and compare properties that are usually only subjectively determined through the senses, such as hardness, cohesiveness, friability or stickiness.

Experts in the field

Dr hab. Bartosz Sołowiej, Associate Professor
Faculty of Food Science and Biotechnology
Phone no. (+48) 81 462 33 50

Offer For Business

  • Development and evaluation of texture (hardness, adhesiveness, cohesiveness, springiness etc.), rheological (viscosity, meltability), surficial properties: roughness (palatability, appearance), optical properties (microstructure) of various food products. Assessment of above-mentioned properties of commercial food products.
  • Functional properties of proteins and polysaccharides (viscosity, gelation, foaming).
  • Food product formulas, especially functional foods for athletes, physically active people, and diabetics.

Other Languages

Visegrad Grants Fund-Food Quality in Digital Age-2023

The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.