Situated in Belgium, in the heart of Western Europe, KU Leuven <http://www.kuleuven.be/> has been a centre of learning for nearly six centuries. Today, it is Belgium's largest university and, founded in 1425, one of the oldest and most renowned universities in Europe. As a leading European research university and co-founder of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), KU Leuven offers a wide variety of international master’s programmes, all supported by high-quality, innovative, interdisciplinary research. KU Leuven is ranked 67 worldwide in the Times Higher Education ranking.
The division MeBioS <http://mebios.be/> of the Biosystems Department of the KU Leuven investigates the interaction between biological systems and physical processes. The mission of the MeBioS Postharvest Group is to increase knowledge about postharvest changes of horticultural products, develop new postharvest storage and supply chain management systems, and design new devices to measure and monitor postharvest quality changes of fruit and vegetables. Virtual fruit and vegetables – mathematical models describing and predicting the behavior of the product accurately down to the nanometer scale and including precise models for biochemical pathways and their intricate regulation – are the vehicle to achieve this mission. The main research lines are biofluidics, postharvest systems biology and quality of fruit and vegetables. More than 50% of the research of the MeBioS Postharvest Group is in collaboration with horticultural co-operatives and industrial companies. We have a firm relationship with the Flemish horticultural industry through the Flanders Centre of Postharvest Technology, a public-private partnership between the KU Leuven and the Belgian fruit and vegetable auctions, but also collaborate with other horticultural companies worldwide and their suppliers. The MeBioS Postharvest Group has a staff of about 40 and is chaired by Prof. Bart Nicolaï.
KU Leuven organizes the InterUniversity Programme Master of Food Technology (IUPFOOD <http://iupfood.be/> ) jointly with the University of Gent (Belgium). This program provides a broader knowledge in food technology in general and an in-depth understanding in either ‘Postharvest and Food Preservation Engineering’ or ‘Food Science and Technology’, depending on the major chosen. The program is mainly attended by students from developing countries, and scholarships are available.