Food Processing

Microwaves

Microwaves technology, beyond cooking, can be applied in a wide spectrum of industrial improving the processes efficiency in terms of cost, quality and sustainability.

It is a clean process, which allows for a volumetric and selective heating, preventing the loss of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

Some examples of the applications are:

  • ✓ Ultrafast drying processes without surface crusting.
  • ✓ The shortening of defrosting time.
  • ✓ The reduction of water consumption in juice, milk and sauce pasteurization processes.
  • ✓ The sterilization of spices, herbs and grains.
  • ✓ The increase in porosity for the development of new extrudates.
  • ✓ The improvement of extraction processes.
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Reduction of harmful compounds

Sometimes, food processing (at industrial and domestic levels) can lead to the formation of unwanted compounds that are harmful to food quality and safety, such as acrylamide or biogenic amines, among others.

This appearance can be minimized by product reformulation or process adjustment. To this end:

  • ✓ We evaluate the critical points and propose strategies for their control and reduction.
  • ✓ We measure the bioaccessibility of these compounds.
  • ✓ We reformulate products and redesign processes.
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Online process control, quality and safety

Applying photonic technology, we interpret the reactions and processes that are developed in biological systems. In this way, we can develop sensors and measurement systems applicable to process control, quality and food safety.

Some examples of the applications on which we work are:

  • ✓ The measurement of maturity and antioxidant content in fruits and vegetables.
  • ✓ The determination of the quality of meat in slaughterhouses. Detection of cold chain breakage, defects caused by heart attacks, DOA.
  • ✓ The control of drying, freeze-drying, freezing processes, etc.
  • ✓ Wine sector: the detection of gallic acid, tannins, etc.
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High homogenization pressures

By applying high pressures to improve the stability and functionality of dispersed systems or microbial cells we achieve:

  • ✓ An increase in the physical stability of emulsions and food dispersions, such as juices, vegetable drinks, etc.
  • ✓ An increase in the bioavailability of antioxidant components and an improvement in the probiotic properties, such as adhesion to the mucin of microorganisms.
  • ✓ Improvements in the encapsulation of microbial cells.
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Encapsulation of bioactive compounds

The encapsulation of active substances permits their protection and release under certain conditions or within certain time spans. We handle a wide variety of encapsulation technologies (lyophilization, atomization, electrospinning, liposomes, etc.) that we use according to the active substance, the matrix, the process and the objective pursued.

These types of technologies allow for:

  • ✓ The encapsulation of active compounds, microorganisms, etc. improving their performance and efficiency.
  • ✓ A wide variety of applications: organoleptic, nutritional quality, food safety, increased shelf life, etc.
  • ✓ Applications in packaging or products.
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Adjuvants for technological processes

Mesoporous materials have great versatility, offering a wide range of applications for the food industry.

These materials show great affinity for enzymes, which allows them to be modulated in various food matrices.

By way of example, their use with different functions leads to the inhibition of enzymatic browning (inhibiting polyphenol oxidase) in juices.