Ohmic treatment for cooking/sterilization of foods
The ohmic heating allows to heat food with a high solids content (sauces, preserves, fruit salad) through the generation of heat in solids. In this way it avoids heating the part of the mother liquor, and the resulting surface overheating which produces taste of cooked and abatement of flavorings and color.
Using an aseptic plant, the process can unify the firing stage and sterilization.
Processes and food plants.
Principle of operation
The process works by the direct passage of electric current through the food and the associated Joule effect, in a cell consisting of two electrodes.
The simplicity of the process makes the system simple, reliable and usable in continuous for any food able to flow (also includes large pieces of fruit in suspension).
The technique is already used for the production of certain canning products (eg. tomato puree) and it has a very large potential.
ProdAl has know-how about the process and different plants, from laboratory to pilot scale, for the study and optimization of different products. The difficulty in the application consists in the calibration process for a specific product, which can range from almost fresh product sterilized in a mild way (eg. cut fruit for catering), to the traditional condiment treated in order to retain the aroma and taste of the home made product (sauces more or less complex).
Technological benchmark vs state of the art
It is a "mature" process of which there are already productive achievements.
However, the field of application is limited, because the development and optimization of the process must be performed on each product.
The technique has not been set for fruit and vegetables of “II gamma” (pieces of fruit and vegetables to be eaten raw), but offers interesting spaces for the development of products for the catering and home use.
Moreover, there aren't experimental data, relating to laboratory scale and pilot plants, relating to the development of integrated production lines in aseptic.
The know-how and the availability of facilities of different capacity at ProdAl allows the development of new products and/or processes targeted to new and conventional products.
- Mature and proven technology for certain applications on industrial scale.
- Areas of interest for the development of new products and their related processes/systems.
- Simplification of the process with elimination of specific sections for sterilization (reduction of installation costs and volume of the system).
- Remarkable margins for obtaining high quality products.
- High consumption of electricity for heating.
- Need for a tuning of the plants for each product.
- Need to predict the aseptic packaging to fully utilize the potential of the technique.
Stage of development of ProdAl
The technology is already available for use in the company, after finalization and optimization of the process.
The preliminary study of numerous products, the availability of laboratory plants of different scale and the implementation of a pilot plant with a capacity of about 100 kg/h, allow to ProdAl to manage the tuning of the operating conditions for any product (in the next figure is shown in orange the stage of development of ProdAl research in this technology).
Similarly, it is possible to define the design of new plants of any capacity thanks to theoretical and experimental studies.
Canning industry. Plants for the canning industry.
Forms of collaboration
- Agreements for the prototyping and the market launch of products, with a view to partnership in the sale.
- Consultations on the industrial exploitation of the technology with impact on research activities.
- Consultancy for the development of innovative products of high quality and the design of the production plant.
- Consulting for the realization on their own or in partnership of ohmic heating systems "turnkey".