Faced with increasing competition from around the world in the food and drink industry, the EU is rising to challenge. This research proposes the implementation of an integrated pasteuriser and homogeniser for fluid foods (i.e. milk) by mechanical means.
The research in this project can be applied to not only the dairy sector but also the canning industry, and condiment and sauce production. Dairy is the fourth most important export product of the EU food and drink sector. It is losing market share to emerging countries.
In this project, 'Fluid foods pasteurizer and homogenizer based on centrifugal hydrocavitation reactor' (FCHR) , researchers are working to perform pasteurisation and homogenisation in a single mechanical, scalable process. They would like to substitute thermal pasteurisation with a process that works at a lower temperature. The look and taste of the milk currently on the market should be preserved in this goal. Other goals include reduce processing cost while increasing energy efficiency in the pasteurising and homogenising processes.
Researchers explain the process of hydrodynamic cavitation very simply. A fluid food, like milk, undergoes pressure changes inducing the formation of microbubbles by high-intensity sound waves (cavitation). When these bubbles implode, they release energy. The process is more energy efficient than the current industry process, yet difficult to scale up. Wixta Industries is promoting the patented centrifugal hydrocavitation reactor, which is the reactor being studied to implement strategic goals on this project.
Planning and organising, along with design and implementation in the lab of all aspects of testing have been the focus of project research to date.
In summary, researchers working on this project are working towards scalability, energy savings and efficiency along with increased quality and digestive ease of the product.
Provided by Cordis