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Affordable, low temperature, rapid and energy efficient dual frequency microwave assisted vacuum system for drying and cooking foods

Institutions
Seafood Safety Assessment Board
Start date
2019
End date
2021
Objective
Freshseal Ltd. is a food and catering equipment company that is scaling up and bringing to the EU and global food processing and catering industries a revolutionary dual-purpose machine for the affordable, low temperature, fast and energy efficient dual frequency microwave vacuum drying & cooking system. Building on the results of the FP7 MILD-DRY project that successfully demonstrated the system in a relevant environment (TRL6), in a subsequent Phase 1 SMEI grant we performed a Feasibility Study to validate a 30kW unit of the new MILDTECH system for drying high value, heat sensitive foods such as mint, in addition to carrots, parsnips, bananas, beetroots, grapes, strawberries and fish, and for cooking whole chickens, chicken fillets and chicken parts. In Phase 2, we will develop additional applications for popular dried and cooked foods, build a library of recipes for optimally controlling the machine depending of the foodstuff to be dried/cooked, implement a smart control system, optimise & fully industrialise the current 30kW unit with a drying/cooking capacity of 250 kg/hour for solid products. We will also scale to a 50kW power unit (drying /cooking capacity of 500 kg/hour) and produce a smaller catering unit of 6 kW power (50 kilos/hour capacity). On the longer term, we will develop a large-scale 20 meters long industrial unit of 100kW with a conveyorized loading/unloading and a 1000 kg/h capacity. Our new machine is ideally suited for the drying of high value, heat sensitive foods at reduced drying times (40% faster than conventional microwave vacuum dryers), resulting in up to 80% less energy consumption, lower running costs, increased product throughput, improved food quality and extended shelf life compared to conventional drying methods. The system will also be capable of reduced cooking times, under a lower heat than conventional ovens resulting in less moisture loss compared to conventional ovens leading to less weight loss (10-15% savings).
Funding Source
European Commission
Project source
View this project
Project number
880637
Categories
Food Preparation and Handling
Prevention and Control
Commodities
Produce
Meat, Poultry, Game