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The National Food Imaging Centre, Teagasc

Powerful New Tools for Studying Food Structure

 

Introduction

The National Food Imaging Centre (NFIC) based at Moorepark is the first of its kind in Ireland and comprises a suite of state-of-the-art imaging tools specifically chosen for studying food microstructure. This new imaging equipment builds on existing microstructure expertise at Moorepark and complements indirect analytical techniques for characterizing food structure such as rheology, laser scattering and various spectroscopic methods. The NFIC, jointly funded by the Irish Department of Agriculture and Food and Teagasc, is now fully operational and provides a comprehensive range of light, confocal, electron and atomic force microscopes (Figure 1).

 

Figure-1
Figure 1 Teagasc research officer Vivian Gee operating the new scanning electron microscope.
Inset is an image of a fractured milk powder particle to show surface detail and internal aerated structure.