Wessel Wijnja, graduate Food Technology

Wessel Wijnja studied Food Technology at VHL University of Applied Sciences in Leeuwarden. He chose to specialise in Process Engineering. For his graduate project he did research on decreasing the waste flow in the sweets factory Cloetta Holland in Sneek.

Research on waste flow

‘Cloetta started the research on waste flows in February and my work placement started in February as well. So I’ve been involved from the start. I looked into several departments. We used the 'five times why method', which is a way of analysing by asking 'why?' each time you’ve found a cause. It was very instructive. One tends to jump on a discovered cause, but with this method you delve deeper and deeper into the cause, until you find the real source of the problem.’

Cost reduction

‘To make the outer-layer of a chewing gum, a special solution is used. It’s done in a spinning drum with small spray nozzles within. After the spraying, the drum is closed and cleaned. I found out that the spray nozzles kept dripping after the cleaning, which cost about a thousand kilos of raw material a week. That was my biggest discovery! All in all the costs of the waste flow in various departments were reduced by 33.8%.’

Process technologist

‘Usually there are a lot of jobs in food technology, but not so many for process technologists. If I have a hard time finding a job as a process technologist I can also start out as a quality inspector.’

Practice oriented

‘The study Food Technology at VHL is relaxed and very practice oriented. You immediately implement the studied theories in different assignments for which you have to write a report. Other schools will have you studying the books a lot more.’

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