Sustainable and Efficient Food Industries

Microwaves applications in food industry

 

The application of microwaves technology, beyond cooking, allows to improve in terms of cost, quality and sustainability a wide spectrum of industrial processes, such as thawing, pasteurization, sterilization, disinsection, destabilization of emulsions, extrusion, etc. In the IIAD we are able to design and develop processes that represent a competitive advantage in the use of this technology.

Encapsulation of bioactive compounds

 

Encapsulation technologies allow certain compounds (microorganisms, vitamins, minerals, therapeutic compounds, antimicrobials, antioxidants, etc.) to be protected so their release can be controlled over time or under certain situations. In the IIAD we investigate the development of nano and microencapsulated bioactive compounds for different applications, such as food additives, functional foods, incorporation into active packaging materials, as well as field or post-harvest applications of fruits and vegetables.

Food waste and by-products exploitation and valorisation

 

Application of different technologies to stabilize, separate, extract, purify and transform agricultural and industrial byproducts in order to obtain compounds of added value for the agri-food sector as for other sectors.

Development of active food packaging

 

In order to increase the useful life of food, in a sustainable way, guaranteeing the food safety and maintaining its organoleptic characteristics, in IIAD we investigate new solutions of active containers for feeding. The main routes of research in this area are the incorporation of active compounds in biodegradable polymer films and active coating technologies, which allow the progressive release of natural, non-toxic microbial and / or antioxidant agents, extending the useful life of the food.

High added value products from fruit and vegetable by-products

 

The agri-food industry, and in particular the fruit and vegetable sector, generates a large amount of waste which in many cases represents an environmental and economic problem for companies. The current processes of transformation should contemplate the proper management of these residues, which are usually used as animal feed or fertilizers, and considered as material of little value. However, these products have a high content of vitamins, minerals and components with great technological interest for the industry.

Wines and Alcoholic Beverages

 

The production of wines and alcoholic beverages is a productive environment where innovations in process and product are especially important for differentiation. Conscious of this, the Researchers of the Group of Wines of the IIAD focuses their efforts on the development of applied technology that contributes to the improvement of the quality and efficiency for the production, covering both viticulture and industrial processing.

Environmental management in the agri-food industry

 

Treatment and use of waste water. Improvement of efficiency in processes (water and energy saving). Determination of the carbon footprint. Life cycle analysis.