Food Process Technology and Sustainable Innovation

For our partners, innovative processes, technologies and product concepts are the key to finding new and commercially exciting answers to current and future challenges. We work with you to find sustainable, future-oriented solutions to help drive your success.

We believe in a sustainable food system. This entails: a) diversifying protein sources, b) maximising the use of available raw materials in the human diet, and c) a healthy diet.

When considering the foods of the future, local resource cycles and value chains, decentralised production concepts and a zero-waste approach are just as important as catering to people’s taste preferences.

Expertise and services

We optimise existing concepts or use interdisciplinary approaches to develop new tailor-made, pioneering and economically sound process and product concepts. This allows our partners to align themselves with new market requirements and position themselves profitably on the market. Our strengths lie in innovations that deliver competitive advantages: our thinking is always based on the interplay between processes, materials and product properties.

Our expertise:

  • Extraction and functionality of biomaterials (e.g. proteins, fibre-rich side streams), reduction of off-flavours
  • Techno-functional characterisation (e.g. gel or foam formation, thickening, emulsifying properties) 
  • Process and technology strategies for the upcycling of side streams and intelligent integration into products with the aim of fully utilising raw materials.
  • Structuring/texturing concepts, additive manufacturing techniques
  • Vegan and vegetarian product concepts
  • Lean and clean label strategies

Range of services

The food industry is at the beginning of a transformation. We believe in a sustainable food system, based on the diversification of protein sources, a complete side-stream-free use of raw materials and a healthy diet.

We offer various ways to cooperate. Research and development projects are either directly financed as contract research or state funded (e.g. Innosuisse). Depending on the project focus, we cooperate with other BFH research groups, external partners or, in the context of dissertations, with universities/technical colleges in Switzerland and abroad.

We offer:

  • New development or optimisation of manufacturing processes, process platforms, prototypes, and generic product concepts – from vision to innovative solution
  • Development of innovative, functional raw materials/ingredients
  • Technology-driven innovation strategies
  • Experimental feasibility studies and hypothesis testing
  • Literature analyses (scientific literature, patent literature) and state-of-the-art technology and research

Our dynamic, dedicated team offers start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) a fast, solutions-oriented approach to take the next steps. While others discuss, we get started. With our help, find out where your project limits lie, what opportunities could be on the horizon, and how we can work together to ensure your success. Our “Sustainable Food Technology Research Accelerator” programme makes it very easy to get started.

We offer a wide range of bachelor’s and master’s theses projects for BFH students, which are generally based on topics within our research projects. Theses usually include an experimental part in our laboratories and/or pilot plant, which are supervised directly by project team members or managers. Usually, only a small number of topics are advertised via official channels. If you are interested in the topics investigated by our research group, please contact one of our staff directly.

We also offer master’s theses projects in cooperation with other universities (ETH, academic universities and universities of applied sciences in Switzerland and abroad). If you are studying at a university and are interested in writing your thesis at BFH in one of our key research areas, please send us a letter of motivation as well as your CV and relevant certificates/diplomas. The theses are carried out in our research facilities and attendance is required for the entire duration of the thesis. We look forward to receiving your application!

We offer doctoral theses in collaboration with ETH Zurich and other universities in Switzerland and abroad, depending on the specialisation. If you have a specific topic in mind, including funding options, please send us a letter of motivation, your CV and an abstract of the planned project. The doctoral theses we fund are advertised on our website. Thank you for your interest!

We offer internships for non-Swiss students who want to gain international experience with us. Internship placements, generally in the research area, are for above-average students. If you are interested, please send us a letter of motivation, your CV and relevant certificates/diplomas.

We warmly welcome those doing civilian service. They are placed in research projects that create value for the general public. If you would like to invest at least three months of your civilian service time with us, please send us a convincing letter of motivation and your CV.

If you are applying for a scholarship as part of the “Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships” programme, please contact us with a specific topic proposal, in the form of a half-page (max.) abstract and your CV. Please note that the proposed topic must be in one of our areas of specialisation OR extend one of our areas of specialisation in an interdisciplinary way. We look forward to receiving your application! We also warmly welcome Erasmus scholarship holders (students as well as staff from other universities).


After its extension in 2024–2025, our pilot plant will consist of about 1000 square metres of technical infrastructure, used in research projects and also available to start-ups and SMEs.

We offer the food industry access to our facilities and also provide services (such as spray drying). Services are generally subject to a charge and are carried out by our staff. For partners with ongoing requirements (e.g. start-ups, SMEs), special access options are available as part of the “FoodHub” programme.

Infrastructure and innovation platform (INOVAP)

Our pilot plant is designed and extensively equipped for (i) the processing (extraction, functionalisation) of solid and liquid raw materials through to concentrates or powders, and (ii) the structuring/texturing of raw materials and foodstuffs. The facility’s infrastructure is updated annually, on a strategic and project-related basis, to ensure it can quickly adapt to project requirements.

Rundgang Technologiehalle

Analysis laboratories

In addition to the pilot plant/testing centre, we have access to an array of analysis labs which are operated mainly by other research groups. The focus of our research group is on physical and physico-chemical analysis (including rheology, interface characterisation, particle sizes, texture analysis, microscopy), with complementary chemical analysis carried out by another research group.

Additive Manufacturing

The Additive Manufacturing (AM) platform, based on a high-output AM process developed in collaboration with ETH Zurich, is a combination of various AM technologies and offered in collaboration with the Institute for Print Technology (IDT) at BFH.


Our predominantly bilateral or multilateral research projects are financed by various funding programmes (e.g. Innosuisse). As a rule, the projects are confidential: together with the project partners we protect particularly valuable project results via patent applications. We publish selected results in scientific journals.

In the SYMUS project, in collaboration with ETHZ, we are combining additive manufacturing techniques, at varying scales, to develop a new generation of multiphase products at an industry-relevant speed. The technology kit allows, for example, the reduction of sugar without losing the perception of sweetness. This is achieved by following a specific order in the different sensory test phases.

Over half of the eggs used in Switzerland are used directly in products. In collaboration with Field Food AG, we are researching vegan egg substitutes based on legume extracts, in order to understand and specifically improve techno-functional properties such as foamability and emulsifying, binding or gelling properties.

The project aims to create an efficient and economical extraction and refinement process of Moringa oleifera leaves. This would obtain protein powder from dispersed fractions for use in food with favourable technological properties and sensory acceptabilities.

Okara, or soy pulp, is a by-product of soya processing and is only used to a small extent in human nutrition (e.g. by the spin-off Luya Foods AG). We are researching process strategies to integrate okara as a fibre-rich polymer in soft gels (e.g. yoghurt) without adverse sensory changes.

In addition to the often-addressed macronutrients (fat, protein, carbohydrates), raw plant products also contain a variety of secondary ingredients such as antioxidants. Together with Gaia Tec AG, we are tapping suitable sources of raw materials and developing the necessary processing methods for extracting secondary materials for the food and cosmetics industries.

Compared to their animal counterparts, vegan ice creams often suffer from poor functional properties (melting stability, consistency). In collaboration with Cuckoo AG, we are working on both the functional product mechanics and the processing required to raise the quality of vegan ice cream to new levels.

The use of pulses to obtain proteins often leads to undesirable flavour components (“beany flavour”) being found in protein isolates. We try to identify factors in order to reduce the formation of off-flavours and to remove flavours that have formed during the process.

Together with the project partner, we are researching a vegan alternative to semi-hard and hard cheese types. Previous products have little protein, do not melt well and require additional flavourings. With the help of process and fermentation technology, a new product line with more protein, better melting behaviour and a natural taste is being developed.

The joint project ZESELE (gpzk, ETHZ, FiBL, Planted AG, funded by FOAG) promotes the development of site-adapted pea varieties to close the “pea gaps” in the Swiss crop spectrum. In addition to the protein content, nutritional and sensory aspects as well as functional protein properties are considered in the product development process.

Team and contact information

Are you interested in working with us or do you have any questions about our activities?

Contact us for general questions at, for press enquiries at, and for enquiries about using our facilities at