Research for SMEs
Research for SMEs
The FCHR project proposes the implementation of an integrated pasteuriser 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). S&T objectives consist in: 1. optimization of the design of the reactor and the rotor for the specific food industry needs, through simulating the hydrodynamic behaviour; 2. Mechanical design of the reactor, structural optimization, noise reduction and material selection to avoid any wear; 3. Implement a specific control system for the control of cavitation and of the pasteurising/homogenizing process; 4. Test the microbiological, chemical, physical and nutritional quality of 2-3 food products selected; 5. Definition of a pasteurizing/homogenizing process design applicable at industrial scale; 6. Evaluation of results against commercial benchmark for energetic, economic and quality aspects. The FCHR technology is applicable potentially to all fluid food in which pasteurisation and homogenization is needed: all products in the dairy industry, emulsions of flavourings, fruit nectars, vegetables puree, egg yolks, sauces and tomato sauces, formulations for early childhood, etc. The potential application to these products, and to intermediates used for their production, represents a huge potential market for the technology.