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Benchtop nmr techniques for the structural characterization of foods


The Measurement Science Division in Unilever Research is faced with new challenges from the foods business. While the pressure to bring products to the market in a short time is increasing, the systems under investigation are becoming ever more complex both in structure as well as chemic composition. Whereas NMR spectroscopy is well established for studying complex meso- and microstructures of food systems, it is still considered as a technique that requires expensive instrumentation, trained operators and expert data interpreters. Therefore, Unilever has pioneered in relatively cheap and easy to handle NMR technology for non-(NMR) expert users such as food scientists, product developers, and operators in manufacturing who use this technique for process and quality control. Unilever has a proven track record in bringing such method to the end-users, and is actively pursuing this area. For the Marie Curie Industry Host Fellowships programme, we propose to develop a new generation of bench top NMR methodology (BENCHNMR) for the rapid meso- and microstructural characterization of complex food systems. There will be a strong emphasis on methods that deliver parameters that can directly be related to consumer related features. For this reason strong liaisons with the end-users will have to be built, most commonly through involvement in research and product innovation projects. BENCHNMR will be embedded in the academic and industrial research network that Unilever has built in this area.

Funding Scheme

BUR - Bursaries, grants, fellowships


Olivier Van Noortlaan 120
3133 AT Vlaardingen