After I finished school receiving my „Abitur“ at the Geschwister-Scholl-Gymnasium in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, I decided to study chemical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe. I graduated in 2013 and worked for 6 months as a supporting scientist at the Engler-Bunte-Institute. Afterwards, in april 2014, I started to work as a research associate in the group of thermophyssical processes at the Institute of Process Engineering in Life Sciences; Section I: Food Process Engineering at the KIT. My goal is to achieve a doctoral degree in engineering.
The main goal of my research is the improvement of drying processes for chunky foods in terms of a faster or less energy-consuming process. At the same time, product quality shouldn’t be influenced in a negative way. Quality parameters would be hardness, colour, volume retention, inner structure and retention of healthy/beneficial substances like vitamins and colouring molecules. I try to reach this goal by using innovative combined drying processes, where established single-drying processes are serially or simultaneously combined. Single-drying processes are Freeze-Drying, Vacuum-Drying, Contact-Drying and Microwave-Drying.
Most of the experiments will be conducted at a modular drying processor. It was specifically designed and constructed for combined-drying experiments together with the company Merk Process. It can execute freeze-, hot-air-, microwave-vacuum-, vacuum-, infrared- and contact-drying processes.
Sample analyses can be realized with different devices:
- “ZwickiLine Prüfmaschine Z2.5” of the company Zwick/Roell for texture analyses and product hardness
- “Konika Minolta CM 600D” (Colour measuring device)
- AW-Sprint TH500 of the company Novasina (measurement of water activity)
- Several precision scales and drying compartments for measuring the moisture of products
Furthermore, there are several industrial-scale dryers for scale-up experiments at our institute. A hot-air-belt-dryer, a microwave-vacuum-dryer and a freeze dryer.