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Development of a semi-industrial-scale microwave multimode cavity-based pasteurization system for continuous processing of coconut water

Grant number: 23/08868-1
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: December 01, 2023 - November 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mechanical Engineering - Mechanical Engineering Design
Principal Investigator:Rafael Nunes Segantine
Grantee:Rafael Nunes Segantine
Host Company:Microondas Desenvolvimento e Tecnologias Ltda
CNAE: Fabricação de aparelhos e equipamentos para instalações térmicas
Fabricação de máquinas e equipamentos para as indústrias de alimentos, bebidas e fumo
City: Campinas
Pesquisadores principais:
Jose Lavaquial Biosca Neto ; Marcos Aurélio Corrêa Machado
Associated research grant:22/03298-0 - Development of a microwave multimode cavity-based pasteurization system for continuous processing of coconut water, AP.PIPE
Associated scholarship(s):23/16945-6 - Development of a multi-mode microwave cavity-based pasteurization system on a semi-industrial scale for continuous processing of coconut water, BP.PIPE

Abstract

The proposed development is aimed at the fruit-based beverage processing sector for food purposes, since its value proposition focuses on maintaining the flavor, color, aroma and nutritional attributes of microwave-pasteurized foods, preserving them similar to natural ones. After harvesting fruits and vegetables, the incipient deterioration caused by enzymes and microorganisms, naturally present in these foods, becomes more intense and accelerated, needing to be controlled to ensure food safety and avoid waste. In order to inactivate the enzymes and neutralize the incipient microorganisms in these foods, different methods are applied by the industry, with pasteurization standing out. Pasteurization is a process that applies heat to food, with the main objectives of inactivating non-sporulating pathogenic microorganisms, reducing the load of spoilage and inactivating enzymes. The pasteurization of fruit-based products is traditionally carried out through the HTST (high temperature short time) heating process, conventionally using heat exchangers to heat the food to temperatures below 100 °C, followed by a short time of residence at these temperatures for the inactivation of enzymes and microorganisms to occur. However, as validated during the 22nd PIPE Empreendedor program in interviews carried out by the Innovatus team with relevant stakeholders in the coconut water, fruit juice and milk market, traditional pasteurization equipment promotes significant changes in color, flavor and aroma attributes , making them distinct from natural products and less attractive to consumers. Justifying the development of microwave-based pasteurization equipment, with the aim of achieving a technological solution capable of heating quickly, with high energy efficiency, industrial sustainability attributes and preserving color, flavor, aroma and nutritional properties similar to natural ones. Thus, the present development intends to scale up the technology developed in the PIPE Fapesp phase 1 project, entitled "Development of a pasteurization system based on a multimode microwave cavity for continuous processing of coconut water" and number 2022/03298-0, where Innovatus developed, manufactured and tested a multimode microwave cavity-based pasteurization system with 1.5 kW nominal power. In phase 2 now proposed, it is intended to scale up to 30 kW the pasteurization system developed for continuous processing of coconut water. To do so, we will use finite element techniques and computational modeling, advanced mechanical fabrications integrating metallic, vitreous and ceramic materials, microwave engineering and methods of measuring the dielectric properties of foods in vector network analyzer equipment. This development aims to help producers and industries achieve greater efficiency in their industrial processes aimed at preventing the enzymatic degradation of fruit-based products, and to provide the market with equipment and/or system capable of being an advantageous and efficient alternative for the pasteurization of fruit juice destined for the industry. (AU)

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