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 The FiTS app now offering cooking videos as it expands its concept for long-term behavior modification
18.09.2018 | vitaliberty GmbH

nachricht The microbiota in the intestines fuels tumour growth
18.09.2018 | Technische Universität München

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: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

Im Focus: Finding Nemo's genes

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...

Im Focus: Graphene enables clock rates in the terahertz range

Graphene is considered a promising candidate for the nanoelectronics of the future. In theory, it should allow clock rates up to a thousand times faster than today’s silicon-based electronics. Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P), have now shown for the first time that graphene can actually convert electronic signals with frequencies in the gigahertz range – which correspond to today’s clock rates – extremely efficiently into signals with several times higher frequency. The researchers present their results in the scientific journal “Nature”.

Graphene – an ultrathin material consisting of a single layer of interlinked carbon atoms – is considered a promising candidate for the nanoelectronics of the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making better use of enzymes: a new research project at Jacobs University

19.09.2018 | Life Sciences

Light provides spin

19.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Enjoying virtual-reality-entertainment without headache or motion sickness

19.09.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>