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Microtomography for in-situ investigation of freeze-drying of probiotics

Reference number
Coordinator Lunds universitet - Institutionen för livsmedelsteknik
Funding from Vinnova SEK 400 000
Project duration May 2020 - September 2023
Status Completed
Venture Research infrastructure - utilisation and collaboration
Call Increasing PhD students' competence in neutron- and synchroton-based analysis methods in industry - spring 2020
End-of-project report 2020-00824_LU o RISE- PhD Shuai Bai Palmkron .pdf (pdf, 241 kB)

Important results from the project

The purpose of this project has been to gain an increased understanding of the structures that are formed when probiotics are freeze-dried. We have shown that synchrotron-based tomography is a powerful tool to understand which properties of a formulation are important for the embedding of bacteria. We have shown that different freeze-drying protocols can affect the wall thickness of the freeze-dried material. This has given a greater understanding of how to increase the stability of probiotic products. The project has demonstrated the strength of tomography for this type of study.

Expected long term effects

The result of this project is that we have developed methods and equipment to study freeze-drying with tomography. This has meant that we have done tomography studies at ForMax at MAXIV. Through this project, we have gained knowledge about how tomography can be used to study freeze-drying and the freeze-drying process. Our study has shown that it is possible to study freeze-drying with synchrotron-based tomography with sufficient resolution in time and space. The work has so far resulted in one publication and a thesis.

Approach and implementation

The project has partly worked on designing a freeze-drying cell for tomography. The sample environment is supplied with a "slip ring" which enables continuous rotation of samples. Furthermore, we have in bench-top tomography examined freeze-dried material in 3-D tomograph, and studied the freeze-drying process with SRCT. We have studied maltodextrin and batteries. The equipment used has been Zeiss Xradia 520 Versa and ForMaX beamline. Quantitative image analysis has been performed using SciPy (, to quantify pore diameters, and wall thickness.

The project description has been provided by the project members themselves and the text has not been looked at by our editors.

Last updated 26 June 2024

Reference number 2020-00824

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