Who? Hein Kieffer (fourth year BSc student of Innovation and Management, VHL)
What? Research on organic prevention of fungus in oranges
Where? Adelaide, Australia
Why? To improve the shelf life of citrus fruit
‘I have been doing an internship at SARDI, an Australian government research institute. SARDI stands for South Australian Research and Development Institute. They study all sorts of things there, from meteorology to food. I did a project on oranges. Australia exports a lot of oranges, mainly to America and Japan. The Japanese have high quality criteria, but the problem is that oranges can get infected with fungus. I did research on the extent to which salt, heat and essential oils affect this fungus. After six month of research I think I prefer the food innovation side of my studies to the research side. I like to finish off a research and move on to a new project, rather than to have to study the same thing for years.
They say Australians are very laidback and relaxed. That is true. I had a landlord who was really very laidback and had a barbecue every night, even when it rained. When I want to Australia for my studies, I thought I wanted to go and live there. Or America. But once I was there I met people from Malaysia, Thailand and China. That has given me an interest in Asia. Malaysia, for example, is well ahead when it comes to knowledge, universities and research facilities. At Van Hall Larenstein we learn a lot about European food, but the food in China is completely different. The idea of working there appeals to me. A different type of food requires different technologies, including food technologies. Australia is not known for its culinary flair. But Adelaide does have a traditional dish. Which is appalling! It is a pea soup with a sort of pie in it called a ‘floater'. The pie is put in the soup upside down and served after five minutes. So then you have a totally soggy pie, really dreadful. And then they serve it with ketchup!'