The IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Anaheim, Calif., is fast approaching, and, as usual, the Food Engineering Div. and the Non-thermal Processing Div. are responsible for most of the technical sessions that might interest food engineers and others relying on this column. However, since I was a member of the Theme Champion Team, I also encourage readers to attend the sessions organized around the themes of “Sustainability” and “From Producer to Consumer.”
In addition, Brian Farkas and I are offering a half-day Pre-Annual Meeting Short Course on Saturday, June 6, titled “Using Case Studies in Teaching Food Science and Engineering.” Thanks to the publisher, Springer, registrants will receive a free copy of my new book, Case Studies in Food Engineering: Learning from Experience. I am also privileged to be one of three speakers invited by the IFT Student Association to speak on the topic of ethics in Session 036 at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 7.Division Lecturers
The division lecturers for Food Engineering and Non-thermal Processing are Andy Rao, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University, who will be speaking on “Oral Food Nanotechnology” in Session 135 at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, June 8, and Don Bowden, Owner, Fresherized Foods, Fort Worth, Texas, speaking at the same time in Session 141.
New Products and Technologies
New Products and Technologies programming includes the following: Session 062, the always popular New Products and Technologies Showcase on the Expo floor from 3–5 p.m. Sunday; Session 114 on ingredients (with five papers) at 10:30 a.m. Monday; and Session 226 at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 9. The latter will feature papers discussing high pressure processing, controlled atmosphere packaging, peroxyacetic acid sterilant for aseptic processing, surface pasteurization by steam, a natural antioxidant, and a minimally processed soluble fiber.
For the second year, Ashim K. Datta, Cornell University, and P.M. Davidson, University of Tennessee, are presenting a hands-on workshop about the simulation program they have developed with colleagues. This will be done in session 009 at 8:15 a.m. Sunday. Prediction of hazards is at the heart of food safety. In this workshop, participants will have hands-on experience with a powerful predictive software program that allows realistic “what-if” scenarios for unintended contamination, carcinogen formation, or even sabotage in multiple products and processes. Before this hands-on experience with the simulation, the participants will be given a quick overview of relevant background information and underlying principles.
The software has been in the making for four years and is a culmination of a project funded by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture that is a joint effort of microbiologists, chemists, and engineers.
More on Food Safety
Continuing with the food safety theme, Session 048, “Emerging Food Safety Intervention Technologies: Lessons Learned and Getting It Right the First Time” is Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Consumers are increasingly demanding fresh-like foods that are totally devoid of both microbiological and toxicological risk. In recent years, many non-thermal, biocontrol, and thermal technologies have emerged with the potential to reduce the levels of foodborne pathogens with minimal effect on food product quality. However, in order to gain regulatory approval for these new processes, technology developers and food processors must prove the chemical and toxicological safety of their technologies to regulatory agencies and win approval in the court of public opinion. This program will offer a unique opportunity to learn from government and industry scientists on the topic of risk assessments needed for approval and adoption by regulatory agencies and the food processing industry, including lessons learned from the past.
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Session 091, “Innovation in Multi-physics Modeling of Emerging Food Processing Technologies, Part 1: Pulsed Electric Field and High-Pressure Processing” is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Monday. This session will discuss how state-of-the-art CFD modeling can be applied in the development of pulsed electric field and high-pressure, high-temperature processing. The most recent research outcomes to achieve and demonstrate process uniformity and its impact on the scalability, safety, and optimization of these processes will be shown. Attendees will learn how modeling emerging technologies can be beneficial for safe and sustainable processing and satisfying regulatory bodies.
A companion session, Session 107, will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday. It is titled “Innovation in Multiphysics Modeling of Emerging Food Processing Technologies, Part 2: Ultraviolet, Ultrasound, and Cool Plasma Processing.”
Women in Academia
While not specifically a processing topic, many people ought to be interested in Session 136, “Women Food Engineers and Scientists in Academia: A Focus on Tenure,” scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday. This symposium will give an overview of the challenges and opportunities offered by a tenure-track position.
The symposium will start with a paper presentation and a discussion of the unique challenges associated with the peer-review process for women faculty members. The session will conclude with a wrap-up on specific recommendations to help women food engineers and food scientists achieve success in academia.
Sessions 202, 254, and 255 are poster presentations sponsored by the Food Engineering Div. Topics in Session 202 are wide-ranging and include the following: icrobial inactivation by various processes, encapsulation, cleaning, and others. Session 254 concerns properties of foods, and Session 255 has several papers on frying.
Some of the best features of poster sessions are the opportunities they provide for interacting with authors, the convenience of viewing them when you have a few spare moments, and the real possibility of serendipity as you wander the aisles.
Pressure-Assisted Thermal Sterilization
The National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST) in Summit-Argo, Ill., is a unique research institution organized by the Illinois Institute of Technology and supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and industry members.
Pressure-Assisted Thermal Sterilization (PATS) from NCFST is a promising new Technology that significantly improves the quality of thermally processed foods while simultaneously eliminating the food safety risks associated with dangerous bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum and its toxins. The novel process, which combines mild heat with high pressure to produce commercially sterile low-acid food products, underwent a rigorous validation process and safety assessment by NCFST and its Dual Use Science and Technology consortium members.
The seven-year, multi-million-dollar collaborative effort included scientists and engineers from Avure Technologies, U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center, Baxter Health Care, ConAgra Foods, Hormel Foods, General Mills, Basic American Foods, Unilever, and Mars. (See the NCFST entry on pages 116–117 for more details on this technology.)
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In the patented controlled condensation pasteurization (CCP) process, to be presented in a New Products and Technologies session, the product temperature is equilibrated in a preheating hopper to a level right below the equilibrium temperature of the subsequent process step.
The product is then transferred into a pressure vessel. In this vessel, a default pressure is established and steam is introduced into the product, whereas the pressure is maintained. In order to equilibrate all temperature levels, a minor quantity of water condenses on the surface, forming a surface-water film. Thanks to the increased water activity on the product surface, optimal inactivation rates are realized. After the thermal equilibrium is achieved, the process continues for a given duration until inactivation of the microorganisms is accomplished. (See the KOCO Inc. / RPN Foodtechnology entry on this page for more details on this technology.)
The following are brief descriptions of some of the processing-related exhibits and exhibitor events at this year’s Food Expo.
• Ultrasonic spray coating equipment and technology are making progress in food industry applications where nano-to-micron thickness layers, validated uniformity, and accurate dosing are of importance. According to the company, Sono-Tek ultrasonic spraying offers superior transfer efficiency over conventional air-pressure spraying systems. Accordingly, there is less bounce back of liquid from the target and a potential for savings of more than 60% in improved cost of goods. Applications include, among others: spraying of depanning oils in the bakery industry; spraying of flavored oils and herbal extract and spice solutions in the frozen meals industry; spraying of antimicrobials to enhance safety and extend shelf life in the dairy and meat industries; and providing novel, high-productivity micro-encapsulated compounds through a line of ultrasonic atomization spray dryers (SonoDry) in the flavor and spice industries. Sono-Tek Corp., www.sono-tek.com, Booth 1178
• Science & Innovation Center is a unique, fully equipped, licensed food processing research and development facility that provides a complete processing line capable of producing a wide assortment of baked snacks including crackers, biscuits, pretzels, bread snacks, and other food products. The newly opened, 30,000-sq-ft center will be used to demonstrate the company’s equipment and by customers and industry partners to confidentially demonstrate new processes; validate ingredients and test ingredient changes; test new machinery and processing techniques; research innovations in mixing, forming, baking, and drying; and produce market samples for testing. Reading Bakery Systems, www.readingbakery.com, Booth 2780
• Pasteurization technology for particulate food products, Controlled Condensation Pasteurization (CCP) system from Buhler Barth, is a standalone dry goods pasteurization system. Used for the production of pasteurized peanuts, tree nuts, oilseeds, cocoa beans, and spices, the system can be installed before or after an existing (continuous belt) roaster. The system is capable of pasteurizing in-shell peanuts and tree nuts, has a capability of up to 44,000 lbs/hr, and delivers a 5 log reduction of microbial pathogens. With the system, the appearance, flavor, and texture of the nuts are identical before and after pasteurization. KOCO Inc., which specializes in the sale and service of industrial food processing equipment manufactured by Buhler Barth, is representing that company, and RPN Foodtechnology is managing technology and application development. The CCP pasteurization process will be discussed from 10:50–11:05 a.m. Tuesday, June 9, in Session 226-02. KOCO Inc., www.kocousa. com, Booth 245; RPN Foodtechnology, www.foodtechnology.ch, Booth 245
• A novel food sterilization process, recently accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will be the topic at a press conference from 11– 11:45 a.m. Monday, June 8, in Room 213C of the Anaheim Convention Center. Called Pressure-Assisted Thermal Sterilization (PATS), the process combines mild heat with high pressure to produce high-quality, commercially sterile low-acid food products. PATS significantly improves the quality of thermally processed foods while eliminating the food safety risks associated with dangerous bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum and its toxins. National Center for Food Safety and Technology, www.ncfst.iit.edu, Booth 608
• Cold-plasma demonstrator is a versatile device that allows the controlled production and analysis of various plasma gases used in disinfection systems. The CP121 demonstrator is capable of producing a jet of nitrogen plasma without the need for a vacuum at temperatures as low as 40˚C. Plasma can be used to treat heat-liable surfaces of polymer packaging materials such as PP, PE, and PET without the risk of melting or deformation. By enhancing the surface energy using cold plasma, surface properties can be altered and surfaces can be decontaminated. The plasma unit accepts nitrogen, helium, or even air as carrier gases, with low power and gas consumption. OMVE Laboratory & Pilot Equipment, www.omve.com, Booth 1519
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• Range of Ethernet-enabled on-line auges, MM710e, provides real-time moisture, fat, and protein measurements for food industry applications including dairy powders, chocolate, snacks, cookies, ingredients, coffee, sugar, and cereals. This fourth-generation series combines the proven, near-infrared light engine from the MM710 with new, high-speed digital processing technology and Ethernet and other digital communication protocol connectivity. This combination produces the high-accuracy, robust, real-time measurements essential for use in closed-loop control, while offering flexibility and simplicity of installation and operation. NDC Infrared Engineering, www.ndc.com, Booth 115
• Freeze drying pilot plant, GEA RAY 1, is used in the food and beverage industries or small-scale production of market samples and for pilot testing of new products prior to full-scale production. The pilot plant is operated via a PC control system. Parameters are monitored and stored during the freeze drying process to provide full documentation of the process, which makes it possible to repeat the test with the same freeze drying characteristics. A modem for remote control or troubleshooting can be integrated in the PC system. GEA Process Engineering, www.niroinc.com/index.asp, Booth 1309
• Control packages with advanced features to enhance performance and efficiency of ovens, driers, coolers, and nut roasters are available from Aeroglide. These include basic burner supervisory panels, simple push-button relay panels, LC panels, and PC-based controls.The company provides its automation system on wide variety of hardware and software platforms to allow integration with existing plant-wide operating systems. The automation system controls product moisture content and reduces product moisture variability through an evaporation control system. The advanced control functions reduce operating costs by monitoring and optimizing thermal equipment operating conditions. In addition, the systems help increase yield by maximizing equipment utilization. Aeroglide, www.aeroglide.com, Booth 2479
• Microwave processors use focused microwave heating for small-scale manufacturing of high-value, low-volume products. This heat process may be used to pasteurize and sterilize products that are easily damaged by traditional processes. It also provides a heating rate that is suitable for specialized reactors for a variety of processes such as the creation of plant extracts or other ingredients for food and nutraceutical applications. In addition, the company offers small processors to sterilize or pasteurize fresh-cut fruit washes, which allows for use of the preservative for longer periods of time, thus reducing the cost of replacing the wash. New in 2009 are mini steam injection plant UHT and HTST processors that may be used to easily produce soymilk, milk, sauces, puddings, and more for trade shows, large studies, test markets, and small, regional markets. These processors can be integrated with in-line homogenizers as well as small-scale fillers for pasteurized or aseptic filling and are available with an optional PLC control package. MicroThermics Inc., www.microthermics.com, Booth 1501
• Cassette system for the ultrafiltration of highly viscous media like cream cheese has the unique ability to clean by backwashing from the permeate side, thus increasing cleaning effectiveness and saving chemicals, time, and manpower. With each cassette having a membrane area of 10m2 and a 10kDa molecular weight cut-off, the FLOW-CEL module is optimally designed to filter protein-containing liquids with high solids content. To guarantee easy handling and operation, the FLOWCEL has been developed and tested together with operators in the food industry. The modular design with different size feed spacers available allows the system to be modified based on the particular needs of each operator. Microdyn Technologies Inc., www.microdyntech.com, Booth 1164
• Horizontal mixer, E Design Ploughshare, provides better mixing times at a reduced equipment cost and lower operating/ energy costs—all with a smaller footprint. Available for batch or continuous material processing, it features large access doors and provides better discharge capabilities with optional dual discharges or oversize discharge doors. Vacuum drying technology from the company is built around the Ploughshare Vacuum Dryer, which combines the operational features of liquid injection, vacuum, and effective heat transfer (heating or cooling) to dry in a single processing unit. The dryer operates according to the fluidized bed mixing principle, whereby the materials being processed are maintained by the plow-shaped mixing elements in a mechanically fluidized suspended state. This permits the mediums to achieve intimate, individualized, rapid contact with each other and the heat transfer surfaces. Littleford Day Inc., www.littleford.com, Booth 2664
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• Squeegees deliver hygiene, efficiency, and security. The New Double Blade Ultra Hygiene Squeegee delivers the extra cleaning capacity of a fixed head squeegee without compromising hygiene. It features color-coded refill blades that are easy to remove and replace with the help of special finger tabs built into the cassette. Once the blades are removed, the head can be autoclaved and reused. In addition, the Fixed Head Squeegee has been modified to deliver superior service. Remco Products, www.remcoproducts.com, Booth 1659
• Anaerobic membrane bioreac-tor , ADI-AnMBR, is a high-rate, ultra-compact, and easy-to-operate wastewater treatment technology. The technology uses a submerged membrane barrier to perform the gas/liquid/solid separation and reactor biomass retention functions. This near-absolute barrier to solids ensures efficient system operation, even under high organic loading and intense mixing scenarios. Capable of handling a variety of waste streams, it can serve as a cost-effective wastewater and waste management solution for food processors. ADI Systems Inc., www.adisystemsinc.com, Booth 518
• Pest control for organic processors is available from Copesan under the Signature Care banner. Signature Care, developed specifically to meet the challenges of pest management in the food processing industry, now provides protection from the risks of adulterating products in the sensitive organic environment. The company’s account management team works closely with organic clients during the needs analysis process, service implementation period, and beyond in order to establish clear protocols for pest management issue resolution. Copesan, www.copesan.com, Booth 211
• Single-shaft precision mixer with conical bottom, AM series, boasts a patented helical ribbon shape, which allows even mixing in the cone. The helical ribbon implements three-dimensional movement of the items to be mixed— upward spiral movement at the periphery and downward flow in the center. At the same time, excellent self-emptying behavior of free-flowing material is achieved by means of the cone-shaped bottom and a discharge area that has no dead spaces. The equipment can be used for dry and wet goods, as well as goods in suspension, pastes, and doughy materials. Cutting rotors, available as an optional extra, can accelerate the mixing process and de-agglomerate at the same time. Amixon, www.amixon.de, Booth 909
• HTST/UHT mini pilot system, Armfield FT94X, is now available with a Rapak Intasept 2200 laboratory filler, offering product developers an integrated facility for aseptic processing and bag-in-box filling of process batches of as little as 15L. Ideal for fast, economical production of packaged product samples, the unit features a 20 cm color touch-screen control panel to operate the tubular and plate heat exchangers and facilities for CIP and SIP. The bag-in-box filling module provides full interface sterilization. A new accessory to the laboratory-scale FT102X Carbonator/Filler/Capper, FT104X, integrates seamlessly with the system, providing an additional, independently controlled filling station. Using the FT104X and FT102X, developers can simultaneously run different filling scenarios, use different types of containers, and increase output from the system, making the process of producing packaged product samples faster and more efficient. Armfield Limited, www.armfield.co.uk, Booth 1319
• Customized seamers are versatile and durable. The company’s capabilities include providing a complete equipment line for facilities ranging from pilot plants to specialty canning operations. Retorting equipment, blanchers, blending/batching equipment, and much more are offered. Dixie Canner Co., www.dixiecanner.com, Booth 1742
•Twin-screw extruders, dryers, and complete production lines are available for a wide range of products including ingredients and encapsulated flavors, expanded snacks and cereals, flat bread, pet food, pasta, and couscous, as well as co-extruded and bi-color products. Extruders range in size from lab units to full-scale production models. In addition, Clextral offers pilot plants in Tampa, Fla., and France for confidential product development and testing. Clextral Inc., www.clextral.com, Booth 903
J. Peter Clark,
Consultant to the Process Industries, Oak Park, Ill.