The high pressure homogenization technique is able to process the bulk liquid products, in order to reduce the microbial load, improve the emulsions stability and the distribution of the solid particles suspended in the liquid. The processed products retain the organoleptic and nutritional properties of the fresh one and show an higher stability against the phenomena of settling and separation.
Treatment plants of fresh liquid foods.
Principle of operation
In the homogenization process a liquid is forced to pass, under the effect of high pressure (up to 350 MPa), through a disruption valve specifically designed. The effectiveness of the process, due to phenomena of cavitation, turbulence, impact, shear stress and pressure gradients, depends on the properties of the product (viscosity, surface tension), the operating conditions (flow rate, temperature, pressure) and the geometry of the treatment chamber..
The know-how of Prodal includes the theoretical knowledge of the process, the availability of predictive models and previous studies on different microorganisms and products, and the development of process cycles optimized for different types of food.
Samplings of vegetable products for which the technique can be reasonably proposal were made.
Technological benchmark vs state of the art
In Europe, the technology has been widely studied and applied for the stabilization of dairy products and are available theoretical studies related to the mechanism of action and the modeling of the fluidodynamic of the process. However, there aren't industrial applications of high pressure homogenization technique and extensive studies on the treatment of products with high added value or with functional properties. The key feature of the technology is the homogeneity of the treatment and the reduced thermal impact, decreasing the risk of loss of heat-sensitive food constituents and preserving the organoleptic properties of food products treated. The treatment causes the mechanical disruption of microbial cells and the denaturation of enzymes, prolonging the shelf-life of the homogenized products. Already have emerged significant advantages over thermal treatments or more complex physical treatments, and the ability to apply it also to high added value products.
- Effect of enzymatic and microbiological stabilization through modest or non-existent heating
- Simplicity of plant (compression system and valve)
- Ease of control and regulation of the process
- Limited cost of the process
- High nutritional and sensory quality of the processed products
- Use of technology for the production of foods with high added value.
- Limited applicability to liquids without solid particles suspended
- No achievement of the sterilization conditions
- Achievement of pasteurization conditions more or less thrust
- Need to complete the production cycle with aseptic packaging systems.
Stage of development of ProdAl
The technology is at the stage of pre-competitive development. The prototyping and the subsequent industry technology transfer requires time and modest investments for the simplicity of the technology.
ProdAl has developed its know-how on the mechanism of microbial stabilization and conducted experimental work on the application to certain commodity sectors (in the next figure is shown in orange the stage of development of ProdAl research in this technology).
It is, therefore, able to offer assistance in the development of new products and the determination of optimum operating conditions also through experimentation.
Companies of fruit and vegetable sector, canning, dairy, baby foods.
Forms of collaboration
- Agreements for the prototyping and the market launch of new products homogenized at high pressure, with a view to partnership in the sale
- Consulting for the evaluation of the quality and shelf life of new products as a function of treatment conditions
- Consultations on the industrial exploitation of the technology with impact on research activities.