Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Software simulator improves quality of microwave reheated frozen foods

04.07.2006
The EUREKA E! 2602 MICRODEFROST MODEL project has extended an innovative software-based product development tool for simulating and optimising heating and defrosting processes in microwave ovens – ensuring safer, tastier and more nutritious meals, while stopping food from drying out or discolouring. The key benefit for European industry is that the availability of this tool will enable them to get higher quality products to market faster.

Consumer habits have changed remarkably over the past decade, leading to a massive increase in the ready food market. The technology of reheating frozen food in microwave ovens has therefore come under increasing scrutiny. Uniform heat distribution within the oven and throughout the food itself is therefore an issue of major interest to convenience food producers, appliance manufacturers and food customers alike.

Many variables to control

Several elements affect how food is heated in a microwave oven – from the shape of the packaging to the performance of the oven itself. In particular, multi-component foods such as those that make up ready meals often heat unevenly; this may cause both sensorial and microbiological problems.

“We developed product simulation software to predict microwave heating uniformity,” explains Birgitta Waeppling-Raaholt, specialist in electromagnetics and microwave processing at the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology (SIK), which led the project. “This makes it possible to design the make-up of the food product – geometry, placement of different food components, packaging and so on – much faster and reduces experimental work.”

The MICRODEFROST MODEL software sets out to model how food components are defrosted and heated by microwaves, and how the heat is transferred – including conduction through the different components. Other SIK-developed software then controls heat distribution to make it more uniform. SIK software was used to establish what the important parameters were, and then helped to optimise their values.

As a result of this EUREKA project, it is now possible for convenience food manufacturers to introduce new convenience products more quickly for both the frozen and chilled product sectors. It also provides an important tool to enable microwave manufacturers to optimise their oven designs.

Global first

The MICRODEFROSTMODEL project was started by SIK, which had carried out earlier work on chilled food reheating. It sought help from EUREKA to find funding and partners. “We had worked in similar projects with EUREKA before,” says Raaholt. “We find that EUREKA is very open-minded.”

The Swedish and Polish partners in the four-year MICRODEFROSTMODEL project brought together appliance manufacturers, frozen food producers, and electromagnetics and radioelectronics modelling and software experts to devise a highly effective product development tool that is a world first. The resulting product development tool is already being offered to food companies to strengthen the competitiveness of the European ready food industry by improving end quality and speeding time to market. Potential spin-offs for this project include controlled pasteurisation of potentially infected products through more uniform heat treatment.

Catherine Shiels | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eureka.be/inaction/viewSuccessStory.do?docid=1858126

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Information integration and artificial intelligence for better diagnosis and therapy decisions
24.05.2017 | Fraunhofer MEVIS - Institut für Bildgestützte Medizin

nachricht World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world
18.05.2017 | RMIT University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>