(REuse of WateR in the food and bioprocessing inDustries)


The main aim of this project is to reduce water consumption in the food and bioprocessing industry. This will be achieved by:

  1. Maximizing reuse of process water and minimizing intake of potable water without compromising safety - working towards the closed factory - by implementing Process Analytical Technology and Quality by Design methodologies.

  2. Introduce active real-time measurement based monitoring and control regimes of process and cleaning water for enhanced production and/or cost reductions in a sustainable way using dairy and fermentation processes as a model system and implementing the methods in fullscale production with the industrial partners.

  3. Enable real-time monitoring of the chemical and biological water quality and equipmentsurfaces by employing novel in-line spectroscopy and developing nano-technology based measurement principles.

  4. Forming a strategic research project and a knowledge platform between leading universities, major service providers and the industry aimed at solving problems related to water reuse by introducing new state of the art technologies and methodologies.


Water is not only a resource, it is a life source. We all share the responsibility to ensure a healthy, secure and sustainable way of applying water now and in the future for our communities, environment and economy – our lives depend on it. Unless sustainable water practices are implemented, half of the world’s population will be exposed to water scarcity by 2050. The massive volumes of process water wasted in the food and bioprocessing industries represent an environmental burden that can be turned into a resource. The hypothesis behind our research is that, using sensor-based “fingerprinting”, process water can be utilized in a far more intelligent manner than present practice. Our project - “REuse of WAteR in the food and bioprocessing inDustry” (REWARD) - proposes the novel idea of applying the successful principles of HACCP, Process Analytical Technology and Quality by Design to production and cleaning water management in the food and bioprocessing industry.

The project

REWARD will establish a research community that provides the knowledge to bring Danish industry closer to self-sustainability - the closed factory principle - where water intake is diminished by re-using production streams. This will provide the Danish food and bioprocessing industry, challenged by productivity and outsourcing problems, with a leading edge and will put Danish processing and measurement equipment businesses at the forefront of modern process water management practice. REWARD focuses on process water cases from the food and bioprocessing industries with multi-product lines and includes technology providers working with generic principles adaptable to other industries with related challenges such as the brewing industry, vegetable/fruit processing, bio-refineries and the fermentation industries. The project partners are the following:

  • The project will be led and administrated by Søren Balling Engelsen, Professor at Department of Food Science (KU.FOOD), an application expert in spectroscopic studies of biological materials with extensive experience with chemometrics, spectroscopic quality control and process analytical technology as well as project management.

  • Renzo Akkerman is professor at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), expert in management and engineering processes for efficient planning of resources and activities in food production systems and supply chains.

  • Krist V. Gernaey is professor at DTU, Dept. of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering (DTU.PROCESS) and expert in process design, control and analytical technology.

  • Susanne Knöchel is professor in food microbiology (KU.FOOD), expert in microbiological food safety and quality and safety issues related to the reuse of industrial water for food processing.

  • Frans van den Berg is associate professor in Advanced Chemometrics in Food Technology (KU.FOOD), expert in process analytical chemistry and technology and quality by design.

  • Mogens Havsteen Jakobsen is associate professor in Surface Engineering at DTU Nanotech (DTU.NANO), expert in surface chemistry, bioassays and development of sensors for environmental monitoring.

  • Palle Lindgaard Jørgensen (DHI) is a senior researcher with expertise in sustainability and environmental impacts assessment of industrial processes and technologies, and a member of Advisory Board in the European Water Partnership.

  • DHI represents 50 years of dedicated research, and real-life experience from more than 140 countries in geological, municipal and industrial water questions. Designated as a not-for-profit organization DHI is able to invest 25% of its human resources in research and development. DHI co-operate with universities in Denmark and abroad and are recognized globally for our innovation and expertise. The headquarters are located in Denmark, but more than half of the employees work in one of DHI’s 29 offices around the globe (1,100 employees worldwide).

  • Arla Foods amba, a global dairy company co-operatively owned by Danish, Swedish and German dairy farmers. It has production facilities in 14 countries and sales offices in a further 20, total of more than 17,000 employees. The products are sold under well-known brands in more than 100 countries.

  • Novozymes A/S is with 6,000 employees the world’s largest producer of enzymes for technical purposes. Novozymes A/S has by decades of full-scale biotechnological production acquired knowledge and technology to push the development and optimize within this segment further.

  • LiqTech International A/S is a Danish based technology company with a leading edge in developing and marketing its own proprietary products to the environmental industry. At its core is the ability to manipulate Silicon Carbide which has allowed it to make a high value, high performance solution for liquid and gaseous filtration products.

  • DSS Silkeborg A/S develops and supplies membrane filtration technology for the dairy industry. It is a knowledge-based company and has more than 40 employees, and closely with highly specialized sub-suppliers and a number of suppliers of process equipment.

  • Alectia A/S is one of Denmark's leading engineering consulting businesses with clients worldwide. It provides planning, design and implementation of services within building and civil works, process engineering in food, beverages and pharma, as well as water and environment.

For more information please visit the REWARD project website.


Krist V. Gernaey
DTU Chemical Engineering
+45 45 25 29 70


Aleksandar Mitic
DTU Chemical Engineering