content tagged as Food Processing

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Clean labeling has become one of the buzzwords in the food industry in recent times. Consumers are demanding natural and fresh foods more than ever, and a clean label often indicates the wholesomeness of food products containing natural ingredients. This demand has resulted in explosive growth in the natural and organic sector. By 2020, the sales of the organic and natural sector are expected to reach 14% of total sales. Major companies have committed to limit artificial ingredients in their products. The majority of those ingredients have been in use as preservatives, and therefore their removal poses a looming question for achieving the required shelf life. Food spoilage and the threat of contamination from various foodborne pathogens are problems that need attention. Even though reformulating food products with the inclusion of natural preservatives is one of the ways to achieve the clean label target, often this approach becomes difficult due to the sensory changes resulting from the addition of those natural preservatives. Food packaging can act as a final intervention step to prevent contamination, and the latest developments in active packaging technologies promise to effectively reduce the need for food additives and preservatives without compromising a product’s shelf life or freshness, as well as lead to opportunities for clean labeling.

Active packaging technologies include physical, chemical, or biological activities which change the interactions between a package, product, and/or headspace of the package to achieve a desired food quality characteristic. Active packaging systems can be broadly classified into active releasing systems (release of antimicrobials, CO2, antioxidants, flavors, ethylene), active scavenging systems (oxygen, CO2, moisture, ethylene, odor), modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), and modifications of packaging polymers (coatings, surface modifications, barrier layers) to obtain the desirable properties.

In this session, the speakers will cover the latest developments and challenges in the area of active packaging, specifically, the use of antimicrobial polymers to control microbial growth; the synthesis of non-migrating, chelating active packaging films which enable removal of the synthetic additives and help in reducing oxidative food spoilage; extending the shelf life of food by reducing the effects of oxidation and moisture through the use of oxygen scavengers and desiccants; and the use of MAP in effecting clean labeling initiatives.

This is symposium is sponsored by the Food Science and Technology Honorary Society Phi Tau Sigma.
Innovations in the food industry require almost always differentiation from the competitive products and should show a clear element of consumer perceived novelty. The symposium will show food innovations applied in the market based on food science. The presenters will  illustrate on how to analyze consumer needs and translate them into required product characteristics. Food science was the key to analyze the products and to understand these properties in order to identify technological improvements. Based on this understanding food technology was used to come up with either new processes or process improvement which were targeted on the consumer perceived differences. 
Phytonutrient-dense ingredients subjected to heat during conventional drying processes undergo a reduction in quality, including, but not limited to, nutrient degradation, oxidation, and sensory characteristics. This symposium will introduce novel drying processes which are being examined for their use in drying nutrient-sensitive ingredients. Foods which are particularly rich in phytonutrients include fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, strawberries, oranges, carrots, beets, and spinach. Phytonutrients, or phytochemicals found in such foods, include carotenoids, ellagic acid, flavonoids, resveratrol, phytoestrogens, and more. Many of these compounds act as antioxidants and are physiologically beneficial. Due to the perishability of most produce there is a demand for a longer shelf-life and also for more convenient ways to consume fruits and vegetables. Dehydrating these whole foods renders them shelf-stable, lighter, and easier to eat on-the-go. Traditional drying methods use heat which may degrade these sensitive nutrients, potentially decreasing the benefits that may be reaped from consuming such products.

However, Radiant Zone Drying, Ultrasonic Processing, and Vacuum Microwave drying have been identified as novel drying processes that efficiently preserve sensitive nutrients resulting in higher nutritional and sensory quality when compared to more traditional methods. These novel dehydration methods quickly dehydrate foods without destroying nutrients, are cost effective, and most importantly, result in a higher quality product. Foods can be dried as whole or as pieces, or into powders, and can be consumed as is or incorporated into other products. Furthermore, these processes provide an opportunity to produce high quality, lower cost ingredients that can be used in the development of new products and in the improvements of existing one.

This symposium will first introduce Infidri, or Radiant Zone Drying, including an overview of the process, applications for the technology, current research on microbial lethality, and data on vitamin retention. Next, an overview of Vacuum Microwave drying and its benefits will be examined, including its ability to produce high quality, lower cost ingredients at a reduced volume and weight that can be used in the development of commercial products and military rations. Following this will be a presentation on ultra sound-assisted drying methods, including a related quality retention study which demonstrates its ability to remarkably improve texture, drying time, and rehydration. Lastly, a case study will be presented which will showcase how novel dehydrated products have been used in the development of a shelf-stable beverage, which will include results from storage studies, sensory evaluation, and nutrient retention.
Cold plasma has been used in the food industry since the 19th century for disinfecting water based on the generation of ozone. In recent years, the interest in cold plasma processing as an emerging non-thermal technology in food production has increased. Plasma is defined as an (at least partially) ionized gas and is sometimes called the fourth state of matter. Depending on the system configuration and the feed gas used, plasma consists primarily of different reactive components such as ions, free electrons, photons, and atoms. Due to the wide variety of cold plasma systems, cold plasma can be applied at different points along the food chain; for production, modification, and preservation, as well as in packaging of plant- and animal-originated food.

The generated reactive components of plasma have high diffusivity and are able to access the entire food surface rapidly. The application of cold plasma has a high antimicrobial efficiency, and also acts against bacterial spores at temperatures below 70°C, which allows the potential extension of the shelf life of food and increases food quality as well as reducing storage losses. Aside from microbial inactivation, cold plasma can likewise be used for the tailored modification of surface properties. As research progresses, cold plasma could be applied to many food products that are dry, fresh, solid, or liquid, and has a negligible impact on their matrix. However, cold plasma also has some limitations and faces challenges; for example, in high-fat foods the reactive oxygen components of plasma could lead to possible oxidative reactions.

In this session we will highlight the current state of cold plasma technology in the food industry. The speakers selected for this symposium (one from industry, two from academia) will share their experience and knowledge of a wide variety of cold plasma generation systems for microbial inactivation and their effects on various food matrices. Presenters will also discuss future research needs and plausible applications in the food industry.
The proposed symposium will discuss the latest advances in drying technologies for efficient manufacture of high-quality dried food products and ingredients. There is a growing interest in the development of new/novel drying concepts to meet the continually emerging challenges and new opportunities beyond the capabilities of the existing conventional drying technologies. A number of studies have explored and developed innovative technologies which take advantage of combining other physical phenomena (e.g. ultrasound, electromagnetic field, and pressure) to overcome the limitations of conventional technologies. The focus is on the development of new non-thermal drying concepts for a more cost-effective and efficient process and in improving the quality of food products through efficient and gentle processing. These include but are not limited to: (1) ultrasound-enhanced drying of food, (2) combined drying processes for better control of product quality, (3) combination of heat transfer modes for an energy-efficient drying process, and (4) novel application of ultrasound for on-line control of dehydration. These technologies will be discussed by internationally renowned experts from research organizations and academia, focusing on process design, optimization and modeling, energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the process, and impact on product quality attributes. The symposium is being organized by Dr Henry Sabarez (CSIRO); and Dr Kai Knoerzer (CSIRO).
Nanotechnology focused in reducing microbial growth has made massive strides in 2016 in connecting with packaging. While the field of antimicrobial packaging research is flooded with the assessment of food grade ingredients, many with known off-flavor/odors, that offer little efficacy, sophisticated research and development in nanotechnology is moving forward pragmatically to decrease microbial growth. In fiscal year 2016, US funding for nanotechnology across 20 federal agencies will be $1.5 billion (NNI, 2016) and the USDA has specifically funded $5.2 million to 11 universities. EU funding in the Horizon 2020 program is connecting research to market in the nanotechnology field is strong. Worldwide investment in nanotechnology is projected at $10 billion annually.

For food that is packaged, waste, in part due to microbial growth from retailer to consumer consumption, is 30%. This represents a dollar loss to consumers as well as the loss of resources used to produce the food.

Blending the need to reduce microbial derived food waste with advances in antimicrobial nanotechnology has much promise. Nanotechnology applied as an antimicrobial has the potential to reduce food waste from farm to retailer as well as from retailer to consumer and thus addresses reducing food waste in the entire value chain.

Speakers will cover the science of developing nanotechnology with antimicrobial properties within packaging materials, nano-enabled microbial detection, and release mechanisms of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) to be effective as antimicrobials, and their industrial applications.
Recently, FAO announced a second set of descriptors to categorize food into categories based on degree of processing. The most used categorization for processing uses the terms nonprocessed and raw, moderately processed, and highly processed. They have added the following classification for describing degree of food processing: unprocessed or minimally processed foods; processed culinary ingredients; processed foods; and ultra-processed food and drink products. The proponent of this classification system has argued that this more fairly defines degree of food processing and comes to the conclusion we rely too heavily on processed foods in our diets. Unfortunately, there is scant evidence that this classification system is actually useful to design dietary guidelines for the consuming public. In this symposium the speakers explore the topic of food processing in general, particularly in light of the FAO guidelines, and the utility of the adopted food processing classification system to assist researchers and those who develop dietary guidelines. This session is sponsored by Phi Tau Sigma and the IFT, AND, ANS and IFIC Task Force on Food Processing. This is addition to the Nutrition and Engineering Divisions of IFT.
The beverage industry is in a major shift, with consumer needs continuously evolving towards simpler, minimally processed, and preservative-free products. As a result, newer processing technologies are sought after as an alternative or complement to conventional thermal treatments to create a more natural, authentic image and to counteract the negative perceptions associated with heavily processed beverages. These technologies need to be efficient at the commercial scale and deliver consistent product safety, nutrition value, and high quality to the consumer. Technologies such as Hydrodynamic Cavitation Processing, High Pressure Processing (HPP), High Pressure Homogenization (HPH), High Pressure Jet Processing (HPJ), and UV and Pulsed Light have emerged as potential alternatives to conventional thermal processing. Speakers in this symposium will share insights and recent findings on some of these new technologies that are already used at a commercial scale and address practical challenges and future possibilities.
Salmonella contamination in low-moisture foods has been a serious concern in recent years. The strong thermal resistance of bacteria makes it difficult to pasteurize low-moisture foods using conventional methods. This session will introduce recent developments of pasteurization technologies and their applications, and new findings related to the behavior of pathogenic bacteria as affected by water activity.
The world population is increasing at an annual rate of nearly 2%, reaching 8.5 billion by 2030 and 10 billion by 2050. In order to overcome challenges associated with feeding such a rapidly growing population, it is necessary to undertake responsible approaches in food production and consumption and utilize methods to minimize the wastage of foods and natural resources. The term “sustainability” in the food and agricultural industry usually refers to the optimum and efficient use of energy and natural resources, including land, water, and raw materials in food production, and often includes management of a wide range of activities to reduce waste throughout the supply chain. Design and development of innovative energy- and water-saving food processing methods and intelligent packaging systems capable of reducing food spoilage and waste, as well as the use of biobased and biodegradable packaging materials are examples of practical approaches towards meeting the sustainability goals in the food industry.

This symposium will feature distinguished lectures from the IFT Food Engineering, Nonthermal Processing, and Food Packaging Divisions by internationally renowned experts selected by the respective divisions. The speakers will highlight recent advances in the development of novel food processing and packaging technologies to improve sustainability in the food industry. Challenges associated with the design and implementation of these technologies will also be presented and discussed. This session is co-sponsored by the Food Science and Technology Honorary Society Phi Tau Sigma.