• Posted on: 08/03/2012
  • Deadline : 17/01/2016
  • Active users : 775

Summary of the technology

The removal of other solvents was also studied.

The ultrasonic assisted atmospheric freeze drying allows greater stability of bioactive compounds and fast rehydration. Moreover, this process improves the drying of heat sensitive products since it is carried out at very low temperatures. Then, this technique could be applied to obtain products as reagents, vitamins, and other products that could be easily transported and stored until its reconstitution.

The invention is based on the application of high intensity ultrasound to accelerate and improve the efficiency of mass and heat transfer process at low temperature between a solid or semi-solid matrix and a gaseous medium. The system could be used in evaporation drying process at low temperatures (lower than 15ºC) or in sublimation (freeze drying) at atmospheric pressure.

Description of the technology

A team including researchers from the Food Technology Department of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) and from the Research Council of Spain (CSIC) has developed a new high intensity ultrasonic prototype that will permit an affordable application of freeze drying to common foods as spices, teas, fruits, vegetables, meat or fish. Compared with conventional air drying: Lower impact in dried product + Preservation of volume sample. Negligible shrinkage + Taste, flavor, odor and nutritional properties preservation + Easy and fast rehydration + In general, higher quality products Compared with freeze drying: Lower energy consumption because no need of vacuum + Use of pressures close to atmospheric pressure: simpler equipment and possibility of continuous production (no batch production) + Lower needs of safety requirements The technology, significantly speeds up the continuous atmospheric freeze drying. That means a significant decrease of process energy demand. The research groups have carried out several experiments using the prototype with some fruits and vegetables studying the dehydration process. In this sense, for example, in experiments carried out with apples, a drying time reduction of around 70 % was found. The UPV and the CSIC are looking for companies willing to sign a licence agreement for the commercial exploitation of the patent or companies interested in technical cooperation for further development of the technology.

Specifications

The researchers of UPV and CSIC have developed a new system to apply high intensity ultrasound during the continuous atmospheric freeze drying that significantly decreases the drying time and the energy consumption. The invention is based on the application of high intensity ultrasound to accelerate and improve the efficiency of mass and heat transfer process at low temperature between a solid or semi-solid matrix and a gaseous medium. The system could be used in evaporation drying process at low temperatures (lower than 15ºC) or in sublimation (freeze drying) at atmospheric pressure. The mass transfer, produced by the solvent (water or organic solvents) fugacity difference between solid or semi-solid matrix and gas, is affected by the phenomena induced by the efficient application of high intensity ultrasound in both matrix structure and interface. Since low temperatures (lower than 10ºC) are used, the solid and semi-solid matrix quality is well preserved. For that purpose, the researchers of UPV and CSIC have developed a specific device to generate air borne high intensity ultrasonic fields. The efficient application of ultrasound improves and accelerates the mass transfer in the freeze drying process allowing its application at atmospheric pressure.

Main advantages of its use

  • • Compared with conventional air drying: o Lower impact in dried product o Preservation of volume sample. Negligible shrinkage o Taste, flavor, odor and nutritional properties preservation. o Easy and fast rehydration o In general, higher quality products • Compared with freeze drying: o Lower energy consumption because no need of vacuum. o Use of pressures close to atmospheric pressure: simpler equipment and possibility of continuous production (no batch production). o Lower needs of safety requirements

Applications

  • Food Industry. For all kind of foodstuff including the high added value products (instant coffee, foodstuff for mountaineer, fruits for cereals breakfast, instant milks, flavoring products or culinary essences) and the daily consumption foods (spices, infusions, meats, fishes, fruits and vegetables)
  • Pharmaceutical and Biotechnological Industry
  • Reagents, vitamins, blood plasma, and other injectables products that need easy transport, storage and high capacity of reconstitution for their consumption.
  • Chemical Industry o It is possible to apply to a wide kind of operations like purification process to eliminate solvents. In general to enhance mass transfer.

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About the vendor organization

Universitat Politècnica de València Universitat Politècnica de València

The Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) is a public educational institution that offers modern, flexible degrees that are designed to meet the demands of society, as well as official postgraduate programmes that are subject to demanding educational quality control systems.It has tree campus sites: Vera (inside the city of Valencia), Alcoy and Gandia, with a total of 36,187 students, 2,843 members of teaching and research staff. and 2,396 administrative and services staff.

One of the pillars of the social recognition enjoyed by the UPV has been and will continue to be its research capacity. Its departments, research centers and institutes undertake applied research proyects jointly with national and international bodies and companies.

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Universitat Politècnica de València

Technology from Universitat Politècnica de València

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