Areas of competence

Photo: Manuel Gutjahr

Horticultural Engineering

In the competence area 'Technology in Horticulture', the focus is on the development of innovative and sustainable horticultural and food technology solutions to optimise the processes along the supply chains of fresh food - from production to consumer. 

The primary objective is to create the basis for maintaining the quality and microbiological safety of fresh food in order to reduce losses and waste in the long term. Another focus is the production of protein-rich plant and animal matrices, such as pulses and insects, by means of innovative technologies.

For this purpose, we are developing sensor systems with which we can measure process variables and analyse product properties non-destructively.

We develop methods and measurement technologies aiming at an effective information acquisition and specific adaptation and modelling of process technologies, including the online provision of data on mobile apps for the end user:

  • for sensor-supported information acquisition on the product and in the process,
  • for spatio-temporal resolved in-situ analysis of physiological and biophysical plant and product states,
  • for sensor-based monitoring of application-relevant quality parameters and stress reactions along the supply chains for fruit and vegetables as well as for milk, eggs and meat
  • for innovative treatment processes, e.g. hydrostatic high pressure or low temperature plasma, including product and process analysis as well as molecular and microbiological analysis methods
  • for process engineering in production, harvesting and processing as well as for climate optimization along the post-harvest chain,
  • for the evaluation and modelling of remaining shelf life and of storage, transport, presentation and packaging technologies as well as
  • for the field of occupational science and ergonomics.

For this method-oriented research approach, we combine the expertise of different disciplines in interdisciplinary teams such as horticultural and agricultural sciences, biology, microbiology, food technology, electrical engineering. 


For our research work we have state-of-the-art technical facilities and laboratories. Since 2019, the microbiomics laboratories of the CIRCLE with their modern microbiological and molecular biological equipment enable the extension and deepening of the thematic and methodological research work on food safety issues.

The research site Marquardt also offers an excellent infrastructure for research on precise fruit production and ideally supplements the laboratory and pilot plant facilities.

    Head of department

    Dr. agr. Geyer, Martin

    Head of department horticultural engineering

    Department: Horticultural Engineering


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