Process Engineering - Environment - Food Processing

Unity in a few clicks

The unit at a glance

The overall aim of the GEPEA project is to contribute to the development of the Factory of the Future and to industrial renewal, in order to meet the challenges of ENVIRONMENTAL, ENERGY AND FOOD TRANSITION.



Unit Manager

Pr Jérémy PRUVOST (University of Nantes)

Deputy Director and Oniris correspondent

Pr Michel HAVET

Unit website

Unit presentation

GEPEA: a joint research unit in process engineering

GEPEA, a research unit in process engineering, the environment and agrifood, is a joint research unit (UMR 6144) that operates under the aegis of four institutes: Oniris, CNRS (the French national centre for scientific research), the University of Nantes and the IMT Atlantique school of engineering and technology. 
France’s public agency HCERES, a council that assesses research and higher education, maintained, for the period 2022 to 2027, GEPEA’s status as a leading laboratory with the French certification Labex. It is made up of around 240 people, including eighty researchers and lecturing researchers and a hundred PhD students and post-doctoral researchers. The laboratory is organised into five teams:

  • BAM Team: Bioprocesses applied to microalgae 
  • MAPS² Team: Matrices & Foods: Processes / Properties / Structure – Sensory 
  • TEAM Team: Treatment Water Air Metrology  
  • OSE Team: Optimisation – System – Energy  
  • VERTE Team: Reuse Energy/Matter of Residues and Treatment of Emissions  

GEPEA’s scientific project: process engineering’s answers to society’s challenges.

GEPEA’s general aim is to contribute to factories of the future and industrial renewal to meet the challenges of the environmental, food and energy transitions. In particular, it aims to meet challenges relating to optimised energy-efficient management of bioprocesses (integrated process-product approaches, reduction of industrial footprint, etc.) and the preservation of good quality of life (ecotechnological solutions for the quality of the environment, air and water; processes to reuse matter and energy from industrial waste or residues; and processes in exploiting marine resources, especially microalgae). 

Teams on Oniris’s food science campus

On Oniris’s food science campus, the members of GEPEA work in the MAPS² and OSE teams and focus on agrifood. 

The MAPS² team’s scientific project is based on two cross-disciplinary subjects:
  • Innovative structuring processes and formatting of matrices for factories of the future: developing innovative continuous, multifunctional, versatile processes, additive manufacturing, intensification of processes, conversion of residues and optimal reuse of matter (including materials), modelling (flow, multiphysics, multiphase), online tracking and advanced control.
  • Process engineering for an environmentally friendly ‘clean label’ food transition: decarbonisation of the agrifood industry, reduction of ingredients (salt and sugar, additives and chemical technology supplements) and/or replacement with new functional ingredients with preservation of nutritional qualities, properties in texture and organoleptic satisfaction, new technological paths in dividing and treating raw materials, reverse engineering of products (overall reduction of environmental footprint, incorporation of concepts of the circular economy).
The OSE team’s scientific project is based on the following subjects:
  • Multiphysics modelling for multicriteria optimisation of agrifood processes, formatting of polymer matrices and isolated or networked energy systems: consideration of input variability, consideration of product-service restrictions, advanced control. 
  • Instrumentation of computer-assisted processes; original, connected systems of measurement for tracking and coordinating processes (in situ characterisation).
  • Reduction of energy consumption and environmental improvement of processes: decarbonisation/electrification of agrifood industry through development of new processes, intensification and control of heat transfer for design of optimised processes.
  • System-based approach with consideration of multiple transitional phenomena coupled with relevant modelling, simulation or optimisation tools.

Research themes

  • Kneading
  • Cooking
  • Cereal products
  • Crystallization
  • High pressure
  • Emulsions
  • Foams
  • Energy efficiency
  • Microwaves
  • Ohmic heating
  • Refrigeration processes
  • Modeling
  • Artificial mouth
  • Olfactometry

Unit Director :

Pr Jérémy PRUVOST, University of Nantes

Deputy Director :

Pr Yves ANDRES, IMT Atlantique

Deputy Director and Oniris correspondent :

Pr Michel HAVET

The unit at a glance

The GEPEA (Génie des Procédés - Environnement - Agro-Alimentaire) laboratory is a joint research unit involving Oniris, the University of Nantes, IMT Atlantique and the CNRS (UMR CNRS 6144). The GEPEA aims to develop Process Engineering in the fields of food processing, the environment and the valorization of marine bioresources