PhD Novel barrier layers for packaging materials suitable for protein-rich foods (ref. BAP-2023-206): We offer a PhD position at the research group of Meat Technology and Science of Protein-Rich Foods (MTSP) at the Ku Leuven, Campus Gent.

Our expertise includes the processing and analysis of protein-rich foods, having a strong focus on the (techno)functional properties of raw materials, ingredients and additives and their role in structure formation.

In MTSP, we investigate and influence the quality properties of protein-rich foods not only through the use of various ingredients, but also through adaption of processing steps and controlled fermentation. In addition, the research group focuses on process control and optimization, which includes developing appropriate hurdle concepts for protein-rich foods.

MTSP also has a strong interest in the valorization and exploration of side streams leading to more sustainable products and packaging concepts.


Depending on the food-specific sensitivity to the absorption or loss of gases, low, medium or high gas barrier properties of the packaging concept are required. In order to meet the product-specific packaging properties, various polymers such as EVOH and PVDC are usually used to produce multilayer packaging. However, these polymers are petrochemical-based and therefore neither renewable nor biodegradable.

The importance of more environmentally friendly packaging has increased significantly in recent years, which is reflected in an increasing demand for bio-based and biodegradable polymers, being the focus of this project.

A promising solution could be the use of side streams from the vegetable industry, which form the basis for this project. The candidate will focus on barrier layer development as well as on  their characterization and optimization with respect to the intended use.


We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and creativelythinking PhD student.

  • Master in packaging, biochemistry, or food technology/engineering
  • Passionate about lab work
  • Fluent inEnglish (Dutch is advantageous but not mandatory for the application. However,Dutch language skills need to be acquired during the PhD – courses are offeredby KU Leuven)
  • Ability towork both independently and in a team (at MTSP we work in close collaborationwith the team and also with other departments at KU Leuven)
  • Presentingand publishing research results is important to you

We offer:

  • A doctoralscholarship (fully funded) for four years (provided a positive evaluation after9 months)
  • Multiplebenefits (doctoral trainings, health insurance, access to universityinfrastructure and sports facilities, etc.)
  • Working in& with a great team!
  • Theopportunity to participate in research collaborations and internationalconferences


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Myriam Loeffler, mail:   

You can apply for this job no later than April 19, 2023 via the online application tool , KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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