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Improving the performance of unit operations applied to foods with the use of materials science

Grant number: 18/19441-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2019 - January 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Ana Silvia Prata
Grantee:Ana Silvia Prata
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia de Alimentos (FEA). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Johan Bernard Ubbink


In Brazil, a huge amount of fruits, extremely attractive from the commercial point of view and with high potential of industrialization, are underutilized due to the susceptibility of these species to the decomposition by contamination of microorganisms or enzymatic reactions. The difficulty of commercializing fresh fruits generates post-harvest losses that can reach the mark of 50% of production. Combined with the demand of the internal and external markets for new flavors, colors and texture that can be provided by these fruits, and the possibility of regional development, it is possible to use the basic science to provide subsidies that lead to improvements formulations and process conditions, which has an impact on overall product quality and optimization of energy use. The evaluation of the phase behavior of Brazilian fruit applied to the processing is almost non-existent in the literature and represents an important tool to predict, more rationally, the conditions of process, formulation or storage of the processed products, to avoid microbiological contaminations, degradation reactions and ensure proper texture and color. In this way, it is being proposed the execution of traditional drying and freezing processes based on information from partial state diagrams for a selection of tropical fruit pulps. It is proposed to deepen the understanding of the impact mechanisms of various phase / state transitions and the influence of low molecular mass molecules on the general behavior of the phases using model solutions of low molecular weight carbohydrate mixtures (sucrose, fructose and glucose) and organic acids (citric, malic, tartaric) that mimic the composition of the pulps. (AU)