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DTU Food - National Food Institute, Denmark
Quality and safety of seafood from catch through processing to the plate of the consumer

The Division for Food Technology is the primary contributor within the institute to a membership of WEFTA, although other divisions may also contribute to plenary meetings and working groups on a case to case basis. The reason is that the Division for Food Technology includes the former Department of Seafood Research under Danish Institute for Fisheries Research, and as such still has an overall expertise of seafood processing and technology.

As a brief history and background for the present situation, it all started as far back as in 1931 when the Technological Laboratory of The Danish Ministry of Fisheries was established. This was still the name of the institute when WEFTA was established in 1960, and FF, which was the abbreviation, was one of the founding institutes of WEFTA. The laboratory was established at the premises of the Polytechnic University, which later changed name to The Technical University of Denmark (DTU). This university has thus always been the ‘home’ of Danish seafood research. In 1995 FF merged with other fish research institutes in Denmark under the name Danish Institute of Fisheries Research (DIFRES). This institute was until the end of 2006 affiliated with the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries in Denmark as a sector research institute serving the Danish fish industry and giving advice to the government. As of 1 January 2007 DIFRES merged with the Technical University of Denmark, and ended the affiliation with the ministry. In 2008 there was a further name change of DIFRES to DTU Aqua.

In 2009 the university analysed the organisation of some of its research units, and proposed FF to be moved from DTU Aqua to DTU Food, which was another former sector research institute having merged with the university. The rationale was to gather all units working with different food commodities, and with the addition of FF to DTU Food this institute had a complete coverage of all foods. The organisational change was implemented 1 January 2010. During this year still another reorganisation was made by merging FF with another, smaller division of food technology, being already within DTU Food. The name of the new, combined division is the present Division for Food Technology, which came into full effect in 2011 with a total staff of about 100 employees.

The Division for Food Technology consists presently of the following research groups:

  • Bioactives – Analysis and Application

  • Food Production Engineering

  • Nano-Bio Science.

The other divisions of DTU Food are the following:

  • Division for Diet, Disease Prevention and Toxicology

  • Division for Microbiology and Production

  • Division for Risk Assessment and Nutrition.

The divisions dealing with chemistry and toxicology are working on e.g. environmental pollutants and biotoxins in seafood, while the microbiology division considers e.g. virus in seafood, and the nutrition division studies nutritional aspects of seafood. This should make the contribution to WEFTA from Denmark more complete.