The specific traits of a plant determine what the plant can be used for. Wheat is an excellent crop for baked products due to a specific type of proteins that no other plant contains, and that helps the dough to raise and keep its shape. Fruits, vegetables or bread that look appealing, smell and taste good, affect the consumer and make him/her more prone to buy the product. High levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutritional components make different crops attractive as healthy foods. For replacement of the chemicals and petroleum based products, a biomass from different crops gets more attractive as raw material for the production of bio-based packaging materials, chemicals, food additives, coloring agents etc.n our research group, we are studying content and composition of various components in crops and how these components can result in a higher quality of the end product. The use of different crops, cultivars, cultivation methods, e.g. organic and conventional cultivation, and differences in the post-harvest handling are important factors for regulation and modification of the content of components.
We use modeling to be able to predict which crop, cultivar, cultivation method and post-harvest handling that is the best choice regarding the desired quality of the end product, and we are studying the prospects of controlling the content of specific components.
We are analyzing horticultural crops (fruits, vegetables, root crops) as well as agricultural crops (cereals, oil plants, potato, hemp and other industrial crops). The plant material covers all from old cultivars and landraces from different parts of the world to modern cultivars from Sweden and other countries.
We are mainly interested in proteins, fibres, antioxidants and other nutritional components, but also in polysaccharide related components for the production of chemicals.
Our research is focused on food production, but we are also interested in how to use side-streams from different production lines, including food processing, to get higher-value added products that can be used in the pharmacological, food, chemical and packaging industry.
Our research projects can be divided into these fields: