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Improving high-throughput pH measurements in small scale fermentations

Educational level:Master thesis
Target group:MSc Food Science and Technology
Main area:Chemometrics and Analytical Technology
Project description:

Acidification (i.e. pH-curves) is one of the key parameters for a starter culture. Naturally, Chr. Hansen has developed meth-ods for high-throughput pH-measurements, generally applied in combination with liquid handling robots. The principle be-hind is optical and non-destructive, and greatly aids in both developing new and testing starter cultures. However, the sys-tem must be re-calibrated whenever old equipment is replaced, or if a new food matrix is to be used, which requires some labor. Additionally, initial data acquirement, subsequent noise smoothing, and calibration quality all affects the measured pH.
The project will focus on one or more of the following:
• Easier calibration transfer between instruments
• Optimization of data acquirement
• Improved noise smoothing
• Exploring new mathematical principles for calibrations
In practice, non-biological reference samples will be measured, to assess instrument to instrument variation and establish methods for standardizing measurements and calibration transfer. Subsequently, biological samples will be acidified either chemically or through fermentation, to test the robustness and accuracy of calibration transfer. Finally, all the data will be used to explore optimal methods for noise smoothing, and new mathematical principles for calibrations (models will be rel-atively simple, both arithmetically and computationally).

Keywords:Analytical Chemistry, Data analysis, Optimization
Supervisor(s): Åsmund Rinnan and Kasper Rosenkvist (Chr. Hansen)
Email:aar@food.ku.dk
Last edited:20-01-2020