ir. Thomas Virdis
Telephone: +32 (0)2 629 3262
Function: PhD student
Currently, I hold a position as a PhD student at the Department of Chemical Engineering (promoter: Prof. Joeri Denayer). My research is placed in the context of the Check Pack project, which aim is the development of adsorption-based sensors to perform food quality monitoring and spoilage detection in real-time, by integrating these micro-devices directly into the food packages.
Food spoilage refers to an ensemble of biochemical processes that lead to a significant reduction of food products shelf life. When this phenomenon is ongoing, several volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released by the microorganisms present in the food, becoming components of the gas phase enclosed in the food package headspace. These substances provide useful information that allow to determine the food quality without relying on invasive (and often destructive) analytic methods. Adsorption-based sensors represent a promising class of detectors that may be used for this purpose; these devices consist of a chemical adsorptive coating through which selected VOCs are separated from the gas phase, to be then identified by means of specific optical devices integrated into the sensor.