Advanced Food Processing Technologies

ACCT (Advanced Cooking & Cooling Technology). Innovate UK. 2015 to 2017.

Industrial cooking and cooling technology research project involving partners OAL (Olympus Automation), BOC - Linde Group and Iceland Manufacturing Ltd. Focused on industrial scale cooking and cryogenic cooling systems based in the National Centre for Food Manufacturing.

By combining 2 processes an innovative system will disrupt traditional process practices leading to a step change in supply chain efficiency within the fast growing markets for ready meals, soups and other sauce based food products. Through rapid cooking (steam infusion) and rapid cooling (liquid nitrogen) major issues affecting food quality, nutritional values, productivity and waste are dramatically reduced. Olympus Automation Ltd, with its leading partners, University of Lincoln, BOC Ltd and Iceland Manufacturing Ltd., plan to realise the following objectives through this project:

- To gain a full scientific understanding of the effects of rapid cooling using liquid nitrogen on sauces and soups, and the vegetable, fruit and meat particulates they contain.

- Integrate rapid cooking and cooling technologies to create a high rate, flexible and efficient sauce production system.

- Use the knowledge from scientific research into ingredient behaviour to maximise nutritional and health values and product shelf life.

- Minimise waste by developing a fully flexible process that reduces production, cleaning and changeover times to meet retailers’ increasingly variable supply requirements.

University of Lincoln Schools and staff involved in research:

NCFM – Mark SwainsonDr Isabel CampelosDr Ruzaina Ishak

AMACT (Advanced Manufacturing Cooking Technology) project – Food processing. Innovate UK. 2014 to 2016.

Advanced Manufacturing Cooking Technology research project involving industrial scale steam infusion technology systems. Steam Infusion has been found to be 3 times faster than traditional heating processes after a study into food processing heating methods. Progressed with industrial technology owner OAL and a major UK food manufacturing group, this research investigated the organoleptic and nutritional aspects of the technology in order to further support its application in the food sector.

University of Lincoln Schools and staff involved in research:

NCFM– Mark SwainsonDr Isabel CampelosDr Ruzaina Ishak

FILMS (Food Industry Laser Mediated Sealing) project. Innovate UK 2014 to 2016.

The FILMS project aims to improve the sealing of ready-made meals, particularly chilled foods through the use of laser sealing technology. This approach replaces existing heat sealing approaches and offers both greater flexibility and much lower energy costs. However, of more significance to the end customer is that the process will deliver more securely sealed food packs (less premature food wastage) whilst also providing a consistent peelability. The project partners are Marks and Spencer plc, Proseal, R U Robots and the University of Lincoln.

University of Lincoln Schools and staff involved in research:

NCFM – Mark Swainson

School of Engineering – Dr Colin Dowding