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Optimisation of Industrial Food Production using Ultraviolet Fluorescence


Project Description

Food manufacturing is the largest and one of the most resource intensive sectors in the world. Within this industry, cleaning of food processing equipment is a critical operation to control safety, cross contamination of allergens and maintain food quality. Currently, many cleaning processes are set up to be risk averse and consequently ‘over clean’ which wastes chemicals, energy and water, and reduces availability of production processes. A current body of work at Loughborough has identified the applicability of ultraviolet (UV) fluorescence to optimise cleaning cycles to detect how clean processing equipment is during cleaning. The feasibility of the technology has been proven at the laboratory scale but has not been optimised.

The proposed research aims to develop a better understanding of the fluorescence of food fouling under exposure to UV light in order to optimise the environmental conditions for detection of specific food types during industrial cleaning. In addition, an image processing procedure is required to interpret the recorded fluorescence into information that can be used by cleaning control systems (either manual or automated). The successful candidate will have access to a new laboratory scale set of automated clean-in-place tanks (100 litres) and will be expected to design and build a number of experiments to characterise fluorescence under UV excitation. In addition, suitable image capture technologies and processing should be established. It is highly likely that the successful outcomes from the project will be implemented within a major UK food manufacturing company during the PhD programme.

Links to find out more

Recent papers on this subject:
https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/18/11/3742
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212827116306503

General postgraduate research degree information:
https://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/research-degrees/

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Food Science, Chemical Engineering or related subject.
All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements (https://www.lboro.ac.uk/international/apply/english-language-requirements/). A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in food manufacturing would be an advantage.

How to apply:

All applications are made online, please select the school/department name under the programme name section and include the quote reference number: Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering / EWUF2019
https://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/research-applications/

Full Time Duration: 3 years
Part Time Duration: 6 years

Funding Notes

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however Institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/International) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School.

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