Industrial Microbiology and Food Biotechnology

Functional starter cultures for improved food quality, safety and healthiness

The Research Group of Industrial Microbiology and Food Biotechnology (IMDO) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel studies lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid bacteria involved in traditional fermented foods and beverages, as well as health-promoting microorganisms of the human colon fermentation process. To improve the naturalness and quality of the human diet, functional metabolites that can replace chemical food preservatives, food texturizers, flavour enhancers, etc., and functional starter cultures that can enhance the safety and organoleptic properties of fermented foods and increase industry's innovation and diversification potential, are of utmost importance. Research on functional metabolites and functional and bioprotective starter cultures is our core business.

IMDO is a unique pole in industrial food biotechnology research with respect to research on functional starter cultures for food fermentation processes. Indeed, IMDO harbours the competences to combine field experiments, isolation and identification of microorganisms, functionality studies focussing on qualitative analyses and including modelling expertise, and applications in one laboratory facility. Because of this competitive advantage, it is not surprising that IMDO is one of the spearhead research teams of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.