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 Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>