Fluid Foods Pasteurizer and Homogenizer based on Centrifugal Hydrocavitator Reactor
The FCHR project proposes the implementation of an integrated pasteurizer and homogenizer for fluid foods based on an alternative approach induced only by mechanical means: hydrodynamic cavitation, which consists in the generation of huge amounts of energy in the form of shock waves, due to the turbulence produced in a fluid by pressure fluctuations.
Opposite to currently studied alternatives, such as pulsed electric field or ultrasound cavitation, FCHR is highly scalable, due to the absence of electric field or ultrasound emitters.
Substituting thermal pasteurization with a process working at lower temperature, it will deliver a safe product that preserves the sensory characteristics and freshness, while reducing processing cost, thanks to improvement in energy efficiency in the manufacturing steps (pasteurization and homogenization).
The project aims at achieving the following technological results:
- The optimization of the design of the reactor and the rotor for the specific food industry needs, through numerical simulations of the hydrodynamic behavior,
- The mechanical design of the reactor, structural optimization, noise reduction and material selection to avoid any wear,
- The implementation of a specific control system for the control of cavitation and of the pasteurizing/homogenizing process,
- The test of the microbiological, chemical, physical and nutritional quality of 2-3 food products selected,
- The definition of a pasteurizing/homogenizing process design applicable at industrial scale,
- The evaluation of results against commercial benchmark for energetic, economic and quality aspects.