Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Microwaves offer fat chance to probe supermarket food

20.09.2007
Microwaves used for zapping instant meals can also be used to determine the fat and salt content of supermarket food, according to research carried out at two Manchester universities.

One of the research team, PhD student Sing Kwei Ng, has scooped a top industry prize for his work to determine the amount of fat in beef.

His award-winning paper detailing initial results will be presented at the LMC Congress: Innovations in Food Technology conference in Denmark, today (Thursday 20 September 2007).

The Microwave Profiler project is being led by Professor Andrew Gibson from The University of Manchester’s Microwave and Communication Group, working with The School of Materials and Professor Paul Ainsworth from the Department of Food and Tourism Management at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The study began after researchers realised that as microwaves heat different types of food at different rates, they must also be sensitive to food content such as water, salt and fat.

The aim of the project is to develop a new fast and non-invasive method of predicting the fat content in meat products.

This type of constant real-time monitoring during the production process could help reduce waste, maximise yield, reduce laboratory testing and save energy.

Sing Kwei said: “Greater awareness regarding food safety and health issues means that consumers are now more concerned than ever about meat products being safe and fresh with a low fat content.

“Food contents and ingredients now have to be disclosed under the European Union legislation but cannot currently be measured quickly or cost-effectively.

“The meat industry is under extreme pressure to find new cost effective methods of meat quality evaluation at every level of food processing. Knowledge of the fat content of meat products is critical.

“The potential of our system to overcome current technical barriers to practical measuring instruments could significantly impact upon food processing and reprocessing technology.”

The research team has carried out successful pilot studies to determine the fibre content in waste products produced by the brewing industry, the moisture content in wheat grain and the salt content of supermarket food.

But they say more research on the capabilities of microwave sensors in industrial conditions is needed before the method can be properly introduced.

Engineers working on the Microwave Profiler project are hoping to develop robust and portable microwave-based instruments that are capable of taking measurements in industrial or laboratory conditions.

The £400,000 study is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Sing Kwei, who is enrolled at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) but is studying for his PhD at both Manchester universities, was recently given the Institute of Food Science and Technology’s Young Scientist Award.

Jon Keighren | alfa
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/eps

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

nachricht The strange double life of Dab2
10.01.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>