Active and Intelligent Packing

  1. Introduction

The ability to package food has made our lives easier in many ways. Packaging is important to contain foods, protect it from external elements such as adulteration by water, gases, microbes, dust, to name a few, and to disseminate information to customers about the contents inside it. Although traditional packaging covers the basic need of food containment, advances in food packaging are both anticipated and expected to solve modern problems. One such issue is spoilage during transit; It has become a significant area of concern, recently. Even though supply chain and logistics networks has improved rapidly in this decade, innovation in packaging that can detect as well as prevent spoilage of agro-products will further reduce this problem, thereby preventing post-harvest losses. In India itself, post-harvest losses accounts for around 30% of overall agricultural production. This, coupled with erroneous grading while packaging, makes a severe impact on the farmers income. Thus, it is of utmost importance to invest on the research and development of unconventional yet novel packaging materials and technology.

With growing knowledge in polymer and materials sciences, it is now possible to fabricate “intelligent” polymers as food packaging materials with added functionalities that is both useful and necessary. Two such recent advances are Active and Intelligent packaging materials. Active packaging is defined as packaging in which subsidiary constituents have been deliberately included in or either the packaging material or the package headspace to enhance the performance of the package system, whereas in an intelligent packaging, there contains an external or internal indicator to provide information about aspects of the history of the package and/or the quality of the food it contains. In this article, it is attempted to review the current advances in this domain.

  1. Active Packaging

The active packaging systems are developed with the goal of extending the shelf life of foods and increasing the period where the food remains of high quality. These technologies include some physical, chemical, or biological actions which change interactions between a package, product, and/or headspace of the package to get the desired outcome. Active packaging helps to increase the shelf-life of products by using absorbing and diffusion systems for various systems for various materials like carbon dioxide, oxygen, ethylene, and ethanol. Although the active packaging systems change the environmental conditions of the packaged food during the preservation period, but this is very important for preserving the safety and sensory properties along with maintaining the quality of packaged foods. The present systems are O2 scavengers, ethylene absorbers, CO2 absorbers/ emitters, flavor releasing/ absorbing systems, antioxidants, antimicrobials, and moisture controllers. Apart from the present functionalities, research is also being conducted to add these functionalities in edible films appropriate for packaging by adding GRAS-certified ingredients such as biopolymers like gums, and bio-fillers derived from natural substances in the matrix. The common type of active packaging materials are scavengers and antimicrobial packaging.

2.1 Scavengers

Compounds such as oxygen and ethylene affects the freshness of food products. For instance, an increase in the level of oxygen leads to oxidation of the product, thereby making it rancid and stale, and the release of ethylene by climacteric fruits can cause a series of chain-reactions, making the whole lot ripe before it is due. This phenomenon leads to undesired product quality as well as wastage. Therefore, bio-fillers having specific scavenging properties added in the matrix can counter the undesired molecules present in the environment.

2.2 Antimicrobial packaging

Utilization of antimicrobial agents in food packaging is beneficial to prevent the growth of microbes and bacteria that can be found in a packaged food or packaging materials and thus increases the shelf life of the food products. Research carried out in this field show that antimicrobial films are more effective as compared to the direct addition of antimicrobial agents to foods because the antimicrobial agents slowly gets released from the packaging film surface to food products with the required concentration to prevent microbial growth. Some of the common active agents that acts as antimicrobial agents are silver, carbon dots, copper, essential oils extracted from clove, rosemary, basil, fennel, lemongrass, etc.

  1. Intelligent Packaging

Intelligent packaging is an emerging food packaging technology that is improving the traceability, safety, and quality of food. It is described as the science and technology that introduce the communication tools for a food packaging system to monitor changes in the internal and external environmental conditions of the system as well as the packaged food, to communicate the status of the system to the stakeholders of the supply chains including producer, retailers, and consumer. It helps the consumers to make buying decisions, enhances food safety and quality by providing relevant and useful information, including warning for potential problems, to all the elements in the food value chain. Some of the most common intelligent packaging systems are indicators like time-temperature indicator, biosensors, and RFID. The addition of these components makes it possible to report the conditions of both the inside and outside of the package. Sensors can detect if the food inside is spoiled, or stale, TTI’s can monitor the temperature history of a food product, in the packaging to consumption chain, and RFID tag can enable consumers to trace the history of the entire food chain.

3.1 Time Temperature Indicator

It is a well know fact that, the quality of a food material is severely dependent to its temperature history from production to consumption. These indicators can monitor the accumulative effect of temperature on food quality. They are attached on the surface of food packages and integrate the exposure of the packaged food to temperature by accumulating effects of such exposures along the entire cold chain. The working principle of these indicators is based on different enzymatic/ mechanical/ chemical reactions between two or more materials, and as a result, the irreversible discoloration of indicator as an explicit response takes place. Two types of TTI’s are most widely used in food applications:

3.1.1. Diffusion-based TTI: It consists of a layer, and inside of it contains thin layers from paper, film, or glue. When the stored temperature of the food reaches a threshold value, the appearance of the indicator changes, thereby indicating the content inside is not suitable for consumption. This indicator is generally made up of a wick porous with dyed fatty acid ester.

3.1.2. Microbial TTI: Its response is directly related to food microbial spoilage; a correlation is established between the bacterial growth and the metabolism withing the corresponding TTI. One type of these indicators is formed from a label containing lactic acid bacteria.

3.2 Gas Indicator

It is an adhesive label placed on the surface to show changes in the composition of the gas inside the package. These type of indicators shows the presence or the absence of carbon dioxide, oxygen, or ethylene. This kind of indicators needs to be in permanent contact with the food and the atmosphere inside the package to function properly.

3.3 Biosensors

Biosensors are devices that can detect specific biological analyses and converting their presence or concentration into some electrical, thermal, optical or other signals that can be easily analyzed. A typical biosensor consists of three basic components: bioreceptors, transducer, and electronic system. These biosensors can be integrated into the packaging material to detect several components such as ethylene, microbes, etc.

3.4 Radio frequency Identification System

RFID technology presents an advanced data carrier system which has the capability of data storage up to 1 MB, non-contact and non-line-of-sight ability to collect real time data. The advantage of integrating RFID includes traceability and promotion of quality and safety of food. The RFID technology can be applied in the food industry in the fields of supply chain management, monitoring conditions of foods, and ensuring food safety.  

  1. Conclusion

Increasing demand for continuous monitoring of the food quality and extending the shelf-life of food products had led to emergence of developed types of packaging methods as Active Packaging and Intelligent Packaging technologies. These packaging technologies complement the present methods and further add values by adding more functionalities required for modern-day living. 

  1. Further Reading

 

Lactic Acid Fermentation

 To thrive, every organism need to extract energy from an energy source. Bacteria and yeasts use fermentation process as their energy source. Fermentation is a way of getting energy, just like respiration process which is used by plants and animals. Lactic acid fermentation is a type in which lactic acid is formed as a result of the fermentation process by lactic acid bacteria.

  1. What is Lactic Acid Fermentation

Lactic acid bacteria perform an essential role in the preservation and production of many varieties of foods. It has got various applications in food, pharma, and allied industries due to its peculiar flavour and aroma. It is also inexpensive, and needs little or no heat in the application, making them fuel-efficient as well.

The production of lactic acid from hexoses ( 6 Carbon sugar) is a peculiar metabolic activity, also named ‘fermentation’, of LAB (Lactic Acid Bacteria) such as Lactococcus, Lactobacillus, Enterococcus, and Streptococcus spp. For these reasons, fermentative bacteria are commonly employed in the food industry as starter cultures for the industrial processing of fermented dairy, meat, cereal, and vegetable products.

On the other hand, lactic acid can be also used as a food additive in the industry of edible products without the presence of LAB fermentation. This option can be extremely useful in various ambits. Both the homofermentative and the heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria are generally fastidious on artificial media but they grow readily in most food substrates and lower the pH rapidly to a point where other competing organisms can not survive.

  1. Bio-preservation of Foods using Lactic Acid Fermentation

Bio-preservation refers to extended storage life and enhanced safety of foods using their natural or controlled microflora and (or) their antibacterial products.

It may consist of:

  • adding bacterial strains that grow rapidly and (or) produce antagonistic substances.
  • adding purified antagonistic substances
  • adding the fermentation liquor or concentrate from an antagonistic organism
  • adding mesophilic LAB as a ‘fail-safe’ protection against temperature abuse.

LAB produces lactic acid or lactic and acetic acids, and they may produce other inhibitory substances such as diacetyl, hydrogen peroxide, reuterin (b-hydroxypropionaldehyde), and bacteriocins.

Lactic acid bacteria have a major potential for use in biopreservation because they are safe to consume and during storage, they naturally dominate the microflora of many foods. In milk, brined vegetables, many cereal products and meats with added carbohydrates, the growth of lactic acid bacteria produces a new food product. In raw meats and fish that are chill stored under vacuum or in an environment with elevated carbon dioxide concentration, the lactic acid bacteria become the dominant population and preserve the meat with a ‘hidden’ fermentation. The same applies to processed meats provided that the lactic acid bacteria survive the heat treatment or are inoculated onto the product after heat treatment.

  1. Industrial Production of Lactic Acid

Lactic acid also has a prime position due to its versatile industrial applications in food, pharmaceutical, textile, leather, and other chemical industries. Lactic acid is widely used in food-related applications but recently it has gained many other industrial applications like biodegradable plastic production. Food and food-related applications account for approximately 85% of the demand for lactic acid, whereas non-food industrial applications account for only 15% of the demand.

Lactic acid was first isolated from sour milk by Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1780 and was first commercially produced in 1881 by CE Avery in Littleton, MA, USA. Pasteur, Lister, and Delbrueck identified lactic acid as a microbial metabolite. The production demand for lactic acid has been increased over years due to due to its high potential of application in a wide range of fields.

Lactic acid has been mainly used for food and food-related applications. It is due to the mild acidic taste of lactic acid. In addition, lactic acid is non-volatile, odourless, and classified as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) for use as a general-purpose food additive. Therefore, many industries choose lactic acid as a safe flavour and preservative in food. Lactic acid also has been utilized in the cosmetic industry such as in the manufacture of hygiene and aesthetic products due to its moisturizing, antimicrobial, and rejuvenating effects on the skin, as well as of oral hygiene products.

The other promising application of lactic acid lies in its polymer, the poly-lactic acid (PLA). It offers tremendous advantages like biodegradability, thermos-plasticity, high strength, etc. PLA is considered as an environment-friendly alternative to substitute plastics derived from petrochemicals. PLA can be applied in medical applications for filling the gaps in bones, producing sutures (stitching material), and joining membranes or thin skins in humans.

  • Lactic Acid Fermentation Process

Lactic acid can be produced by the fermentation of sugars or sugar-containing hydrolyzates or the single-step conversion of starchy or cellulosic wastes by direct conversion using amylolytic lactic acid-producing microorganisms or by the simultaneous hydrolysis and fermentation with concomitant addition of saccharifying enzymes and inoculum together. There are different processes for the biotechnological production of lactic acid. Generally, hydrolyzate is used instead of refined sugars which can be utilized for submerged fermentation or solid-state fermentation.

  1. Future of Lactic Acid Fermentation

Biodegradable plastic i.e., polylactic acid, can replace synthetic polymers to avoid environmental pollution. So lactic acid production must be economic and environmental friendly with the utilization of renewable biomass. The production of lactic acid from fossil fuels is now widely accepted as unsustainable due to depleting resources and the accumulation of environmentally hazardous chemicals. Even though fermentation can replace the chemical synthesis, the cost of production must reduce for the bulk production of lactic acid for the biodegradable plastic. High energy consumption and cost in raw material pre-treatment can be reduced by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation. This process helps to increase the yield of lactic acid and increase productivity.

The simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of lignocellulosic and starchy materials have its advantages over separate hydrolysis and fermentation. Consumable sugars like glucose released by cellulase or amylolytic enzyme are simultaneously converted to the end product by the microorganism. Glucose inhibition on the enzyme is therefore minimized. Many of the lactic acid bacteria are mesophilic and fermentation can carry out at the optimum temperature of their growth. Simultaneous saccharification and fermentation offer the controlled release of sugar at the optimum growth temperature. The operating temperature of the simultaneous saccharification and fermentation can thus be brought to the level close to the optimum of the cellulase enzyme by using thermotolerant organisms for the efficiency of the whole process.

  1. Reference

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234703/

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00399508

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7566098/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0734975007000961

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0734975008001067

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0740002012001943

https://scielo.conicyt.cl/scielo.php?pid=S071734582004000200008&script=sci_arttext&tlng=e

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318094535_Lactic_Acid_in_the_Food_Industry

https://medcraveonline.com/JBMOA/lactic-acid-bacteria-their-applications-in-foods.html

Protein Functionalization

 Proteins are the engines of a living cell. Within and around cells they perform a magnificently diverse set of functions. They do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. Besides providing structure and stability, proteins are involved in cell signalling, catalysing reactions, storage & transport, and are therefore extensively studied. Over the years, tools have become available for researchers to reveal structure and function relationships, as well as localization and their interactions with other proteins.

Nature routinely causes modifications of proteins in specific sites, enabling a dramatic increase in functional diversity.  The evolution of living beings is based on this functional diversity. The increase in research and technologies are leading humans to a state wherein it is possible to manipulate and add functional properties to specific proteins. However, modifying such chemically and structurally rich biopolymers without perturbing their function remains an open challenge.

  1. Selective Chemical Protein Modification

Chemical modification of proteins is an important tool for probing natural systems, creating therapeutic conjugates, and generating novel protein constructs. Site-selective reactions require exquisite control over both chemical and regioselectivity (regioselectivity occurs in chemical reactions where one reaction site is preferred over another), under ambient, aqueous conditions. There are now various methods for achieving selective modification of both natural and unnatural amino acids—each with merits and limitations.

Potential transformations, if they are to be relevant, are moulded by the need for biologically ambient conditions (that is, <37 °C, pH 6–8, aqueous solvent) so as not to disrupt protein architecture and/or function. Ideally, this should proceed with the near-total conversion to generate homogenous constructs.

  1. Constrains of Protein Functionalization

While many past examples of so-called ‘bioconjugation’ exist, those that teach a strong strategic lesson are rarer. The rigour of the chemical approach (including proper characterization) has been lacking—supplanted perhaps by a pragmatic desire for a useful product. In an era now hungry for precise molecular knowledge of protein function, historical examples of precise protein chemistry become vital.

Although many strategies exist to label proteins specifically, these random modifications can adversely block enzymatic active sites and binding pockets or alter the protein’s 3D structure, leading to a decrease in or complete destruction or masking of activity. Despite these challenges, early pioneering work utilizing specific installation of functional groups onto antibodies has revolutionized biology, enabling the foundational advances making up immunohistochemistry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs).

  1. Strategies of Functionalization

Regardless of the functionalization strategy, careful consideration must be paid to the reaction conditions for protein modification. Due to the fragility and massive size of most full-length proteins, the chemistries employed must occur under mild, aqueous conditions and proceed relatively rapidly on substrates at very low-molar concentrations. Owing to the diversity and arrangement of amino acid residues within each species, the protein targets display a diverse array of chemical functionalities with varying physicochemical parameters.

Targeting a specific functional group from the many that may be available on the protein’s surface, let alone a single moiety on a specific residue among many near-identical copies, is a tall order. To increase the specificity of these labelling reactions, three broad strategies have emerged:

  1. Utilize reactive small-molecule chemical reagents to modify endogenous proteins.
  2. Harness or hijack protein translational processes for direct labelling.
  3. Utilize enzymes for co- or post-translational modification of proteins.

Small-molecule-based labelling strategies exploit differences in physicochemical characteristics (redox potential, nucleophilicity, acid dissociation constant, etc.) of a given sidechain to gain chemo selectivity.

  1. Protein Functionalization in Food 

During extraction and food processing, proteins can be modified in multiple ways. Physical modifications (for example thermal treatment) and chemical modifications (for example ingredient interactions) can not only influence each other but also significantly affect the structural properties and functionality of proteins.

To obtain pure proteins or to design food products that contain (added) proteins, it is necessary to separate the desired protein from unwanted proteins and non-protein components present in the starting material. With variations that depend on the protein raw material, the process of producing bifunctional protein hydrolysates and peptides from food proteins typically involves extracting crude proteins from the protein source using aqueous or organic solvents and centrifuging the extract to further purify and separate the isolated proteins from unwanted and often insoluble non-protein materials.

Further purification steps may include dialyzing the supernatant of the protein extract against distilled water to remove residual salt and precipitate salt-soluble contaminants or treating the extract with dilute acid to initiate precipitation of the protein of interest (or that of the impure sediment) while leaving the impurities (or the desired protein) in solution. The proteins obtained from this kind of extraction and precipitation process are referred to as protein isolates and concentrates and could undergo additional purification based on their size, affinities for certain ligands, hydrophobicity, and ionic properties to obtain a purer, more homogeneous protein product.

  1. Sources of Food Proteins
    • Conventional
      • Plants: Food proteins and their component bioactive peptides have been isolated from a variety of plant foods. The wide distribution and heterogeneity of the plant protein sources not only demonstrate the structural diversity, abundance, and diverse origins of plant food proteins but also the enormous potential for isolating novel peptides with various important bioactive properties from these plant protein sources.
      • Animals: Animal proteins are an important and often essential component of various food products where their physicochemical and biological characteristics serve to enhance the nutritional, organoleptic, and even health-promoting properties of those foods.

The biological properties of protein hydrolysates and peptides of animal origin have also contributed to their use in the food industry for the formulation of medical foods designed to manage food allergies and control conditions such as cystic fibrosis, liver disease, Crohn’s disease, and phenylketonuria. Bioactive hydrolysates and peptides have been derived from a myriad of diverse animal and marine protein sources and protein by-products including salmon, oyster, milk, eggs, etc.

  • Novel
    • Insects: Although the heightened demand for high-quality food proteins and growing food security concerns in recent years have contributed to the increased use of proteins from insects for both food and feed, the consumption of insects, or entomophagy, is hardly a novel idea given that insects were a part of the diet of the evolutionary precursors of humans.

It is estimated that up to 2000 different insect species are edible and could be consumed at different stages of development, such as egg, larva, or pupa, with some of the most popular including locusts, crickets, caterpillars, bees, wasps, and ants. Insects are relatively rich in high-quality proteins with an essential amino acid content of 46–96%.

  • Algae: Factors contributing to the growing use of algae include their relative ease of cultivation even on non-arable lands, high sunlight utilization efficiency and capacity to be grown using seawater and on residual nutrients. Apart from their protein content, algae are known to contain substantial amounts of other nutrients such as B vitamins and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Proteins from algal sources have also been used to produce health-promoting bioactive peptides.

The growing demand for protein foods presents both opportunities and challenges for researchers and food product developers. For instance, in seeking to produce sustainable, more affordable but also nutritious protein-rich foods from insects, scientists must also confront the microbiological, chemical, physical, and allergenic risks inherent in using members of the class Insecta for food.

Although the use of emerging green technology for food processing continues to enjoy growing popularity, there is a need to increase efforts towards scaling up reported beneficial results. It is also important to understand the mechanisms by which the alteration of protein structure results in functional changes.

  1. References 
  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms5740
  2. https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=EP%2FS033912%2F1
  3. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0608-y
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3995230/
  5. https://www.redalyc.org/journal/1698/169856422001/html/
  6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2590238519303479
  7. https://www.wur.nl/en/Research-Results/Chair-groups/Agrotechnology-and-Food-Sciences/Food-Process-Engineering/Protein-functionalization.htm

 

 

 

 

Meat Analogues

 

Meat Analogues

A meat analog, (also known as a meat alternative, mock meat, fake meat, or imitation meat),  approximates sure aesthetic characteristics and chemical traits of the meat. The intake of vegetable proteins in meals products has been growing through the years because of animal diseases, global scarcity of animal protein, sturdy demand for wholesome and religious (halal) food, economic and most importantly environmental motives. A meat-based eating regimen calls for a notably more quantity of environmental sources according to calories compared to a vegetarian meal plan. That is  2 to 15 kg plant foods are needed to produce 1 kg of meat.  

Developing new meals merchandise that is attractive to the consumers is a task. But, it’s far even greater complex when those new foods are intended alternatively for products that can be enormously favored and common, like meat. These challenges turned into universal to develop new sustainable meat substitutes to reduce the terrible environmental effect of industrial-scale meat manufacturing for human consumption.

  1. Meat Proteins

Meat is considered as the highest quality protein source not only because of its dietary traits especially proteins however additionally due to its attractive taste. The role of meat proteins is two-fold. On one hand, meat proteins have all of the important amino acids carefully equivalent to the human body that, cause them to be exceptionally nutritious. Alternatively, the meat proteins substantially contribute to the growth and improvement of the food industry employing imparting particular functionalities to the product.

The essential protein functionalities in processed meats are gelation and associated homes (for example, meat particle binding and adhesion, emulsification, and water-conserving ability. Among the commercial proteins used in the food industry, gelatin has been regarded as both special and unique, serving multiple functions with a wide range of applications in various industries.

  1. Meat Analogues

Vegetarian foods occupy a larger than ever shelf space in today’s market due to the consumers’ growing health concerns and the associated environmental problems. Analogue may be defined as the compound that is structurally similar to another but differs slightly in composition. The beef analogue is a meal that is structurally just like meat but differs in composition.

Meat analogue, additionally called a meat replacement, mock meat, fake meat, or imitation meat, approximates the aesthetic characteristics (by and large texture, flavor, and look) and/or chemical characteristics of specific forms of meat. It can also confer with a meat-based, more healthy, and/or less expensive alternative to a selected meat product.

Generally, meat analogue is thought to intend a food crafted from non-meats ingredients, sometimes without dairy products, and are to be had in distinct forms. Normally, meat analogues are made from soy protein or gluten. 

  1. Function of Meat Analogue

The main function of meat analogues is to replace meat in the diet. The market for meat analog does not only includes vegetarians but also the non-vegetarian seeking to reduce their meat consumption for health or ethical reasons, and people following religious dietary laws, such as Kashrut, Halal, and Buddhist.

  1. Usage & Benefits

Some meat analogues are based on centuries-old recipes for wheat gluten, rice, mushrooms, legumes,

tempeh, or pressed-tofu, with flavoring delivered to make the finished product taste like chicken, red meat, lamb, ham, sausage, seafood, and many others. They can be used to reduce formulation costs due to the fact they may be less expensive than meat. Other attributes include the ability to maintain water and moisture at some point of cooking, reheating, freezing, and thawing makes them exceedingly appreciable.

Texturized vegetable proteins (TVP) are commonly used to offer the preferred pleasant, texture, binding capacity, and desired amount of chewiness, or to make a product less attackable or softer. There are numerous health benefits of meat analogue intake over the meat such as protection towards coronary heart sickness, decrease blood cholesterol, reduced risk of cancer, and increasing bone mass. Food scientists at the moment are developing meat alternatives that genuinely flavor like meat and feature the identical “mouth sense” of their nature-made counterparts. 

  1. Types of Food Used as Meat Analogue 
  • Soya meat /Textured vegetable proteins (TVP): Soya meat, or textured vegetable protein (TVP), is produced from soybeans primarily in Asian countries. The production method is somewhat laborious but, the end product has a fibrous consistency similar to that of meat. With different seasonings, a great variety of flavours can be achieved. Soya meat is extremely rich in protein with a protein content of over 50 percent, but the protein content drops when TVP is rehydrated.

 TVP has been developed in the USA and was introduced to the European market in the late 1960s, though with modest success. But it should be noted that the quality of TVP has improved for the last 40 years. TVP is produced using hot extrusion of defatted soy proteins, resulting in expanded high protein chunks, nuggets, strips, grains, and other shapes, where the denatured proteins give TVP textures similar to the meat. The fibrous, insoluble, porous TVP can soak up water or other liquids a multiple of its weight. Textured soy proteins (TSP) are processed to impart a structure and appearance that resembles meat, seafood, or poultry when hydrated. Soy protein products have become increasingly popular because of their low price, high nutritional quality, and versatile functional properties. Two important soybean protein products are soy protein concentrate (SPC) and soy protein isolate (SPI). 

  • Quorn–the mycoproteins: Quorn is the brand name for a line of foods made from mycoprotein. Quorn products take the form of faux chicken patties, nuggets, and cutlets, as well as imitation ground beef. It springs from a single-celled fungus grown in large fermentation vats which are processed and textured to produce a food that can be easily manipulated for meat.

  • Tofu: Tofu derived from soybeans is perhaps the most widely recognized alternative for Paneer. It is an excellent source of protein, calcium, and iron. It is usually available in block form. ‘Tofu’ prepared by coagulation of soymilk by CaSO4 or MgCl2 contains about 8% of total proteins, 4-5% lipids, and about 2% of carbohydrates on a fresh weight basis. Tofu has a special nutritional value due to the presence of dietary fibers (about 1%) and the absence of cholesterol, as well as a very low energy value.

 

  • Tempeh: Tempeh is made from soybeans that have been soaked and cooked to soften them. Like sourdough bread, tempeh requires a starter culture/inoculum (Rhizopus oligoporus), which is added to the cooked beans. This mixture is left for 24 hours and the result is a firm-textured product with a somewhat nutty flavor and a texture similar to a chewy mushroom. 

New plant-based meat analogues should taste, feel and smell better, or at least as good as animal meat according to the perceptions of the majority of consumers. Probably, flavor (umami flavor associated with meat) and texture (fibre like as in meat products) are the most important keys to success, and at the same time, the biggest challenges for the researchers. It can be concluded that there is a demand as well as bright future of such products in the market keeping aside a few constraints which need a solution but with a heap of opportunities.

  1. Reference 
  1. http://ndpublisher.in/admin/issues/IJFFTV5N2b.pdf
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7142285/
  3. https://biospringer.com/en/why-consumers-crave-meat-analogues/
  4. https://www.roquette.com/food-and-nutrition/savoury/meat-analogue
  5. https://www.cerealsgrains.org/publications/cfw/2020/July-August/Pages/CFW-65-4-0040.aspx
  6. https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2019/06/19/Meat-analogues-A-big-opportunity-for-improved-quality#

 

Change Room and Ante Room in Food Industry

The advancement in process technologies and engineering has made the process of scaling up a food production unit easy and cost-effective. The major concern which prevails in the current scenario is the hygienic and sanitary design for a food factory and its essential premises. Change Room and Ante Room play a critical role in reassuring the focus on quality and hygienic design and ensures to lessen/nullify the contamination from man-material movement.

Changing rooms fulfill the key function of a single entrance to the food production area for all staff, workers, visitors, contractors, etc. to minimize product cross-contamination. It serves as an area where:

  • Employees can store external clothing and personal effects
  • For maintaining personal hygiene and structured entry sequence by practicing the use of PPE (personal protective effects)
  • Facility for cleaning and laundering industry clothing and footwear’s
  • Segregated toilets from food production areas etc.

As far as possible, all employees, including senior management, production operatives, technical/ office staff, and the cleaning and maintenance operatives should enter the food manufacturing areas of a factory through the same single entrance and follow the same changing and hygiene procedures.

Requirements on Hygiene & Sanitary Practices

Changeroom and Ante Room are essential requirements in reinforcing the Hygiene and Sanitary practices in any food industry. All processing operations should be carried out in such a way that the risk of contamination of the product or packaging materials by any hazard is avoided. Such hazards may include:

  • Physical/foreign matters (e.g., metal, glass, plastic, insects, dust/dirt, etc.)
  • Chemicals (e.g., allergens, cleaning agents, disinfectants, lubricants)
  • Spoilage/ pathogenic micro-organisms.

Two levels of internal barriers are required for food, dairy, and beverages manufacturing processes:

Non-food production areas: The first level separates processing from non-processing areas. Food production areas should be segregated from non-food production areas such as locker rooms, canteens, utilities, boiler rooms, workshops, machinery rooms, laboratories, offices, meeting rooms, Separation should be by physical means such as walls, sufficient to prevent contamination of food production areas by pests, particulates, gases, and fumes.

Food production areas: The second level separates ‘high-risk’ from ‘low-risk within processing areas. Products range from low-risk – ambient stable, packaged foods. High risk includes chilled and other ready-to-eat foods.

Change Room and Ante Room

Entrance from non-production to production areas is practiced via Change rooms. Entrance into ‘high-risk’ areas is through a further Ante-room specifically designed for high-risk operations (Hygiene station etc.). A single one-way flow of production operations from raw materials at the beginning to finished products at the end minimizes the possibility of contamination.

The level of air cleanliness as design specification of the air handling system reduces the risk of cross-contamination of high-risk product and hence, these areas may suitably have Heating and Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC for+ pressure) and airlock provided in between low & high-risk areas for the upkeep of hygiene. Air shower/curtains may be provisioned before entry to the high-risk processing sections such as the Cheese section, Infant food section, etc.

It would be better to provide a swipe card system or rack, indicating the total number of persons entering or present inside the respective section/plant. The facility should be designed such that the movement of employees, visitors, maintenance personnel, and contract workers throughout the facility is controlled in a manner that does not contribute to potential cross-contamination.

Functional requirement of Changing room

A changing area is necessary to provide basic privacy i.e., separate areas for males and females with separate washroom facilities with proper ventilation.  The basic requirements of a changing room are:

  • Air Curtain to be provided as a barrier between external side and Changeroom 1.03 Self-closing doors, proper lighting, and ventilation.
  • First aid kit to be made available.
  • The informative boards/poster about required personal hygiene practices and fire/emergency exits to be displayed.
  • Cross-over barrier/bench provided before entry into production area from the change room.
  • Work clothing should be changed at the entrance of the unit and given to the laundry at the end of the day. Employees should not come to work (from home) in their work clothing nor launder their work clothing themselves.
  • Open lockers to store outside footwear.
  • Provision of individual storage facilities, e.g., lockers, is required to ensure that staff’s outdoor clothing and personal effects can be securely stored for the duration of their work period. As staff’s personal effects may be contaminated, they also need to be stored separately from their Work clothing.

  • Before putting on factory clothing, the staff is required to undertake hand hygiene procedures to reduce the risk of cross-contamination to the food manufacturing area. This requires the provision of hand-wash sinks with detergent and hand drying facilities.
  • Hand washbasins to service a single hand wash. Hand washbasins must have automatic or elbow/foot-operated water supplied at a suitable temperature.
  • Suitable hand-drying equipment, e.g., paper towel dispensers or hot-air dryers. Closed-circuit television (CCT)/cameras/sensors as a potential monitor of hand wash compliance may be installed.
  • Changing rooms may have a definite barrier, which divides the external side of the changing room from the food manufacturing area. This barrier can be a simple line on the floor or a bench that operators can sit on when applying footwear cover before swinging their legs over into the food manufacturing area.
  • Open lockers at the barrier to store low-risk footwear/industry footwear/foot cover.
  • Ensure availability of Sanitizer dispensers adjacent to the high-risk production area.
  • After processing activities, facilities are required to hold used industry clothing either for laundering/cleaning and discard PPE (disposable– mask, gloves, hair net, etc.).
  • An area designed with suitable drainage for boot washing operations.

Ante Rom/Ante Area

Engineering proper HVAC systems for critical environments often involve distinct areas of room pressure control and directional airflow. An anteroom between a primary room and corridor ensures a safe airflow buffer zone between the controlled pressurized space and an unclean area. The two spaces are separated by a completely walled area with a door. However, in some applications, an ante area without walls or a door can achieve the same effect.
An ante area is a buffer zone of laminar or displacement airflow near a clean work area, such as a pharmaceutical compounding space. There is no physical separation between a gowning or wash area and the compounding area. Instead, proper placement of supply and exhaust airflow devices provides sufficient air velocity to sweep particles away from the compounding area and maintain unidirectional airflow during operations.

Hygiene Stations for High-risk food processing areas

The most important factor for planning the Hygiene station is the number of employees who must pass through the Hygiene station. The basic equipment of a Hygiene station includes:

  • Hand washing and hand disinfection devices.
  • Sole cleaning and sole disinfection equipment.
  • Shaft cleaning and shaft sole disinfection devices.
  • Hand drying system.
  • Non-contact sensor-controlled soap dispenser: doses an adjustable amount of liquid hand cleaner for hand cleaning.
  • Non-contact sensor-controlled hand wash basin with hot water supply is activated by a sensor for an adjustable time, integrated with paper towel dispenser followed by a hand dryer.
  • Non-contact sensor-controlled hand sanitizer dispenser for 2- hand wetting, doses an adjustable amount of disinfectant into the hands for better hygiene.

 

 

 

Personnel hygiene regimes are critical in reducing the potential for food contamination incidents. Whilst much can be done to design suitably hygienic and cleanable changing rooms and equipment that facilitate these regimes and allow them to minimize cross-contamination to operatives and the environment, the success of such regimes is still dependent on the actions of the operative. Future changing room designs, therefore, must concentrate on aiding the compliance and consistency of implementing these personnel hygiene regimes, perhaps by incorporating the results of psychological assessments as to why operatives do, or do not, undertake tasks.

References

 

  1. https://www.gotopac.com/art-cr-cleanroom-design-10-steps
  2. https://www.setra.com/blog/difference-between-anteroom-and-antearea
  3. https://www.setra.com/blog/what-is-iso-14644-1-cleanroom-classification
  4. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/286424210_Design_of_food_factory_changing_rooms
  5. https://cleanroomtechnology.com/news/article_page/How_to_design_the_food_cleanroom/170893
  6. https://www.dairyknowledge.in/sites/default/files/pdfs/Guidance_document_Change_Room_Design.pdf
  7. file:///C:/Users/pmg20/Dropbox%20(PMG)/Personal%20Folders/0.%20Reading%20Materials/smith2011.pdf
  8. https://blog.gotopac.com/2019/04/17/gowning-room-design-guidelines-anterooms-and-iso-classification/
  9. https://sci-hub.ru/https://www.researchgate.net/publication/286424210_Design_of_food_factory_changing_rooms

 

   Cable & Its Types

Cable is assembly of two or more than two conductor in running side by side or bundled form. It is used in building wiring and used in industry and commercial places to aim of transmit power or signal from one to another, and it is very important to install wire of good quality otherwise it would burn down. It is very careful about selection of cable according to requirement. There are many types of cable that are found in market according to use like there are also communication cable used to transmit low power signal and for uses of electronic signal purposes and Fiber optical cable used for optical data through light source to receiving devices and  the cable which is used to transmit electric power is called Power cable.

  1. Basic parts of power cable: –
  • Conductor

Copper and aluminum are used as a conductor material in cable because of higher electrical conductivity solid or number of bare wires either made up of aluminum or copper to make a power cable.

The number of wire strands in conductors are 7, 19,37,61,91 etc. The size of conductor is represented by 7/A, 19/B, 37/C and so on, in which first represent the number of strands and second represent like A, B, C, represent diameter of individual wire in cm or mm. 

  • Insulator

Most used insulator in cable like insulated like poly vinyl chloride, impregnated paper, butyl rubber, cross linked polythene but paper insulated cable is preferred because of their high current capacity and generally reliable and having a long life.

The insulator must have following properties: –

  1. It must have high resistance so that it does not allow current flow in it.
  2. It must have high dielectric strength so that it does not allow any leakage current.
  3. It has high mechanical strength so that there is less chance of breakdown
  4. It must be capable of operating at high temperature
  5. It should have low thermal resistance.
  6. It should have low power factor.
  • Inner Sheath

It basically used for protecting the cable from moisture because moisture evaporate the property of insulation. It made of lead alloy, and these strengths withstand the internal pressure of pressurized cables. The material should have nonmagnetic material in inner sheath. In power cables there is an aluminum sheath is used because it is cheaper, smaller in weight and high mechanical strength than the lead sheath.

When there is an underground cable then protection from corrosion or electrolyte we use material like hessian or PVC.

  • Armouring

 Armouring is done by galvanized steel wire, or two layer of metal type are applied over sheath for protecting it from mechanical damage. The steel wire nis normally used because it has high longitudinal strength.

  • Oversheath

It gives the mechanical strength to cables. It protects from all over damage like moisture, corrosion, dirt, dust and so on. The thermoplastic material is used making over sheath.

  1. Types of Cable   
  • Ribbon Electric Cable

It consists of multiple insulated wiring running parallel with one another and used for multiple data transmission like this is used to connect the CPU with motherboard. And are generally used for interconnection of networking device.

     

  • Shielded Cables

It consists of one or two insulated which are covered by a woven braided shield or aluminium foil for better signal transmission and removing irregularities in frequency and power and external interference in radio. These cables are also used to transmit high voltage and are protected by shield.

 

  • Coaxial Cable

It consists of solid copper or steel conductor plated with copper which is enclosed in the metallic braid and metallic tape. This is entirely covered by with an insulated protective outer jacket. These types of electric cable are used for computer networking and audio video networking. It is used in telephone trunk line, broadband internet, high speed computer data busses, cable television and connecting radio transmitter.

 

  • Twisted Pair Cables

It has two or more insulated copper wires which are twisted with each other and are colour coded. These are used in telephone cable and resistance to external interference can be measured by number of wires.

 

  • Fiber Optical Cable

These types of cable are used to transport optical data through light source to the receiver. It is assembled similar to electrical cable but containing one or more optical fibre that are used to carry light. These optical fiber elements are typically individual coated with plastic layer and contained in protective tube suitable for environment

                                              

  • Instrumentation Cable

These are flexible and shielded cables for transmission of signal between equipment in industrial installation. Especially suitable for optimum data transmission with high level of electromagnetic interference.

                            

  • Underground Cable

Underground cables are employed to transmit and distribution of electrical power where there is impractical to use overhead transmission line, or this is used in congested area where there is impossible to use overhead transmission line. There are kind of cable used depend upon voltage level and service requirement. Underground cable consists of a central core or more than two or three core made of copper or sometime uses of aluminium and insulated from each other by impregnated paper and metallic sheath is provided to protect insulation from moisture.

Types of cable used in any particular location depend upon its mechanical strength and voltage level.

According to voltage level, there category can be divided.

Types of cable

Operating voltage

Low voltage cable

             Up to 1KV

High voltage cable

             Up to 11KV

Super tension cable

             Up to 33KV

Extra high-tension cable

             Up to 66KV

Extra super voltage cable

             Up to 132KV

 

 

  1. Selection of Cable

For consideration of cable for correct size and for type of application, some factor to be considered such as following:

  • System voltage
  • Current carrying capacity
  • permissible voltage drop
  • Short circuit rating
  1. References 

 

 

  Electrical panel and Its Type

 

Electrical panel is a combination of electrical devices which uses electrical power to control various mechanical function of industry equipment or machinery.

 An electrical panel includes two main categories

  1. Panel Structure
  2. Electrical component

Panel structure

The structure of an electrical panel is a combination of enclosure and back panel.

The enclosure a type of metal box which varies in size and is typically made of an aluminium or stainless steel. The number of doors usually one or two needed on enclosure. Enclosure have following properties like waterproof, dust proofing and indoor and outdoor use purpose and Hazardous condition rating and back panels a sheet mounted inside the enclosure that provide structure support for DIN rail mounting and wiring ducts.

Electrical component

There are eight types of mainly electrical component within an electrical panel enclosure which define and organize a several different functions carried out by panel.

This component includes:

    1. Main circuit breaker
    2. Surge arrestors
    3. Transformer
    4. Terminal blocks
    5. Programmable logic control
    6. Relays and contractors
    7. Circuit breakers
    8. Human machine interface

Types of Panels

  • HT panel

 

HT Panel are generally used to supply power to various electrical devices and distribution board. HT panels are installed for both outdoor and indoor application mostly used in every substation for controlling the power flow.

  • Power control center panel

It take directly supply from transformer and used to control power supply in large industry as well as commercial units. The power supplied into heavy machineries, equipments , transformer are controlled according to need of electrical load using these PCC panels. It is used in every industry like chemical, plastic, paper, power, oil, and natural gas, dairies. The main function of panel is to protect and control power distribution for large manufacturing industries.

  • Main LT panel

These are used as low voltage panel to obtain power from generator or transformer and distribution electricity to various electrical devices and distribution board. LT panel are designed to function at lower voltage up to 430V with low insulation level.

  • MCC panel

These panels are an assembly of starters, circuit breakers, fuses, relay and variable frequency drive to control drives from center location. It consists of multiple enclosed section having a common power bus and with each section containing combination starter, which in turn consist of motor starter, fuses or circuit breaker and power disconnect. Motor control center also includes push button, indicator, variable frequency drive, logic controller and starters and metering equipment. These panels are used in large commercial building, industry and where there are multiple drives that need to be controlled from a central location, such as mechanical room or electrical room.

Reference

https://www.squareone.ca/resource-centres/getting-to-know-your-home/electrical-panel

 

 

.

 

Equipments in Warehouse

The world is in a global business right now. Plenty of goods from electronics to consumer goods to food are traveling from New Zealand to America, from Africa to China, etc. on a day-to-day basis. Some goods move slowly, others move very quickly, but it all must move. And they need to be stored in some place or other in between the movement.

Warehousing is the process of storing physical goods before they are sold or further distributed. Warehouses safely and securely store products in an organized way to track where items are located, when they arrived, how long they have been there, and the quantity on hand.

Importance of Warehouse Equipments

Warehouses store almost everything we eventually own, from food and clothing to furniture and electronics. They are diverse and can range from a small stocking room in the back of a business to a multi-thousand square foot area. Because size and functionality differ so much in warehouse buildings, the types of equipment needed for a smooth operation may vary as well.

The right equipment in right place in a warehouse will not only ease the flow of goods through each process area but will also reduce the possibility of injuries and product damage. One can have the best manpower to streamline the warehouse operations, but it is the equipment that plays a pivotal role in assisting humans to complete a task efficiently.

Contribution of Warehouses in Profit

Warehouses contribute to the profitability of a company in many aspects.

  • They can be used to buffer inventory to smooth out fluctuations in supply and demand. This is essential for maintaining a good customer relationship.
  • They may be used in building up investment stock. Some commodities like coffee, pepper, etc. whose prices fluctuate on a global scale can be stocked and then sold when the price is favorable.
  • A warehouse also assists in the most effective use of capital and labor within the manufacturing and supply units. It helps to keep overtime charges down and allows a company to buy and stock more supplies when prices from the supplier are more favorable.

Some Necessary Warehouse Equipments

  1. Dock Equipments

A loading dock or loading bay is an area of a building where goods vehicles (usually road or rail) are loaded and unloaded. Dock equipments ease out the processes of loading and unloading. Choosing the wrong dock equipment can put employees at risk. As the docking area is the junction of the receiving and shipping processes, its safety should always be the top priority.

As truck designs keep changing and safety is becoming a huge issue, selecting the right dock equipment can make the process more efficient, customizable, and safer as well as less time-consuming for workers. Types of dock equipments include:

  • Dock Boards and Plates
  • Edge of Dock Levelers
  • Dock Bumpers
  • Yard Ramps
  • Wheel Chocks
  • Dock levelers & Dock Lifts
  1. Conveyor

A conveyor system is a common piece of mechanical handling equipment that moves materials from one location to another. They can speed up and/ or automate the process to save time and labour. Conveyors reduce human intervention, so they can reduce the risk of injuries. They can be expensive, but their benefits will overrule their expenses. Types of conveyors are:

  • Belt conveyors
  • Flexible conveyors
  • Vertical conveyors
  • Spiral conveyors
  • Pneumatic Conveyors
  • Chain conveyors

  1. Storage Equipments

The right selection of storage equipment will help to efficiently use the space of warehousing. It will also help in easy identification and reduce the damages. The most common storage equipments are:

  • Carousel
  • Racks
  • Shelves
  1. Lifting Equipments

They are different types of machines that help streamline transportation and storage of goods. They should be stable and adequate for the goods which are to be transported. The selection of lifting equipments should be done only after considering the type of inventory. Types of lifting equipments are:

  • Forklifts
  • Pallet Jacks
  • Hand Trucks
  • Service Carts
  • Cranes, Hoists, and Monorails
  • Dollies and Castors
  1. Packing equipments

Packing is one of the most important steps in the storage and transportation of any goods. Involves wrapping a product or designing a container to provide protection and ease off the transportation.

Packing equipments assist the staff in packing faster and increases the productivity. They also reduce labor costs and provide consistency in the wrapping process.

Types of packing equipments are:

  • Industrial Scales
  • Strapping and Banding Equipment
  • Stretch Wrap Machines
  • Packing Tables

Warehouses are an essential element in almost all businesses. However, the size of a warehouse may vary according to the business. A modern warehouse is composed of machines and humans working together to accomplish an array of processes and tasks. The warehouses are getting advanced and complex each day with the addition of artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics. So the maintenance and management of warehouse have become an important factor in the modern business.

Reference

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loading_dock
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conveyor_system
  3. https://www.shopify.in/encyclopedia/warehousing
  4. https://www.oberlo.in/ecommerce-wiki/warehousing
  5. https://www.logisticsbureau.com/about-warehousing/
  6. https://articles.cyzerg.com/warehouse-equipment-must-have-list
  7. https://www.sage.com/en-us/blog/glossary/what-is-a-warehouse/
  8. https://www.lencrowforklifts.com.au/news/different-types-of-material-handling-equipment-used-in-warehouse/
  9. https://www.douglasequipment.com/blog/top-14-material-handling-equipment-items-to-increase-efficiency-in-a-warehouse/

 

Processing of Frozen Dessert

No one knows exactly when a frozen dessert was first produced. Ancient manuscripts tell us that the Chinese liked a frozen product made by mixing fruit juices with snow – what we now call water ice. This technique later spread to ancient Greece and Rome, where the wealthy in particular were partial to frozen desserts.

Frozen dessert and Ice cream were made possible only by the discovery of the endothermic effect. Prior to this, cream could only be chilled but not frozen. It was the addition of salt, that lowered the melting point of ice, which had the effect of drawing heat from the cream and allowing it to freeze. The processing and production of Frozen dessert has drastically changed from then to now, with the addition of advance technologies and process lines in Ice cream. Before studying the process and manufacturing of Ice cream, a basic understanding on the raw materials and its chemistry is important to understand Ice cream on a larger scale.

  1. Raw Materials and Ingredients

The ingredients used in frozen dessert production are:

  • Fat

Fat makes up about 10 to 15% of the frozen dessert mix. The fat gives creaminess and improves melting resistance by stabilizing the air cell structure of the frozen dessert. Milk fat is replaced in the case of frozen dessert by vegetable fat, where refined or hydrogenated (hardened) coconut oil and palm kernel oil are most commonly used.

  • Milk solids non-fat (MSNF)

MSNF consists of proteins, lactose, and mineral salts derived from whole milk, skim milk, condensed milk, milk powders, and/or whey powder. In addition to its high nutritional value, MSNF helps to stabilize the structure of ice cream due to its water-binding and emulsifying effect. The same effect also has a positive influence on air distribution in the ice cream during the freezing process, leading to improved body and creaminess.

In a well-balanced recipe, the quantity of MSNF should always be in proportion to the water content. The optimal level is 17 parts MSNF to 100 parts water:

  • Sugar/non-sugar sweetener

Sugar is added to increase the solids content of the frozen dessert and give it the level of sweetness consumers prefer. Ice cream mix normally contains between 12 to 20% sugar. The consistency of the ice cream can also be adjusted by selecting different types of sugar. This makes it possible to produce ice cream that is easy to scoop.

In the production of sugar-free ice cream, sweeteners are used to replace sugar. Aspartame, acesulfame K and sucralose are the most commonly used sweeteners in ice cream and are applied in conjunction with a bulking agent such as maltodextrin, poly-dextrose, sorbitol, lactitol, glycerol, or other sugar alcohols.

  • Emulsifiers/stabilizers

Emulsifiers and stabilizers are typically used as combined products at dosages of 0.5% in the ice cream mix. Traditionally, these products were produced by dry blending, but today integrated products are preferred due to the improved dispersion and high storage stability.

Emulsifiers are substances that assist emulsification by reducing the surface tension between two phases. Emulsifiers bind the fat portion and non-fat portion of the ice cream top create a consistent matrix for the ice cream.

Stabilizer is a substance that can bind water when dispersed in a liquid phase. This is called hydration and means the stabilizer forms a matrix that prevents the water molecules from moving freely. Most of the stabilizers utilized for ice cream are large molecules derived from seeds, wood, or algae/seaweed. Stabilizers are used in ice cream production to increase the viscosity of the mix and create body and texture. They also control the growth of ice crystals and improve melting resistance.

  • Flavors

Flavors are a very important factor in the customer’s choice of ice cream and can be added at the mixing stage or after pasteurization. The most popular flavors are vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.

  • Colors

Natural or artificial colors are added to the mix to give the ice cream an attractive appearance. Local legislation exists in most countries regarding the use of colors in food.

  • Other ingredients

Ripples (sauces) are incorporated in frozen desserts for taste and appearance. They can also be applied for pencil filling and top decoration.

Dry ingredients are either added through an ingredient dozer or as top decoration matter on cones, cups, and bars. A great variety of products are used: chocolate, nuts, dried fruit pieces, candies, cookies, Smarties, caramel pieces, etc.

  1. Production Process

The production of Ice cream and frozen desserts are pretty much similar. The difference is that vegetable oil is used for preparing the mix in frozen desserts. After the mix preparation, the further steps are the same.

The major steps in the production process are:

  • Mix Preparation

This is one of the most crucial steps in the production of  Ice cream or Frozen Dessert. The tank-stored raw materials are heated and blended to form a homogenous mix that is pasteurized and homogenized. Large production plants often have two mix tanks for each flavor with a volume corresponding to the hourly capacity of the pasteurizer, in order to maintain a continuous flow to the freezers.

The dry ingredients, especially the milk powder, are generally added via a mixing unit, through which water is circulated, creating an ejector effect that sucks the powder into the flow. Before returning to the tank, the mix is normally heated to 50 to 60°C to facilitate dissolution. Liquid ingredients such as milk, cream, liquid sugar, etc. are measured into the mix tank.

  • Pasteurization and Homogenization

In large-scale production, the ice cream mix flows through a filter to a balance tank. From there it is pumped to a plate heat exchanger, where it is pre-heated to 73-75°C. After homogenization at 14 to 20 MPa (140-200 bar), the mix is returned to the plate heat exchanger and pasteurized at 83 to 85 °C for about 15 seconds.

The pasteurized mix is then cooled to 5°C and transferred to an ageing tank.The purpose of pasteurization is to destroy bacteria and dissolve additives and ingredients. The homogenization process results in uniformly small fat globules which improve the whipping property and texture of the ice cream mix.

  • Ageing

The mix must be aged for at least 4 hours at a temperature of 2 to 5°C with continuous gentle agitation. Ageing allows the milk proteins and water to interact and the liquid fat to crystallize. This results in better air incorporation and improved melting resistance.

  • Freezing and Packaging

Continues freezer is the device used to whip a controlled amount of air into the mix and to freeze a significant part of the water content in the mix into a large number of small ice crystals.

The ice cream mix is metered into the freezing cylinder by a gear pump. At the same time, a constant airflow is fed into the cylinder and whipped into the mix by a dasher. The refrigerant surrounding the cylinder generates the freezing process. The layer of the frozen mix on the inside cylinder wall is continuously scraped off by the rotating dasher knife, and a second gear pump drives the ice cream forward either to an ingredient feeder or a filling machine.

The output temperature is -8 to -3°C depending on the type of ice cream product, where 30 to 55% of the water is frozen into ice crystals depending on the composition of the mix formulation.

The increase in volume following the incorporation of air in the mix is called overrun, and is normally 80 to 100%, corresponding to 0.8 to 1 liter of air per litre of the mix.

  • Hardening and Storage

A filling machine fills the frozen dessert directly from the freezer into cups, cones, and containers of varying designs, shapes, and sizes. Filling takes place through a time-lapse filler, a volumetric filler, or an extrusion filler. In the case of extrusion filling, a cutting mechanism is provided. Decoration with various ingredients is possible, including nuts, fruits, chocolate, jams, or gumballs.

Lids are put on the packs before leaving the machine, after which they are passed through a hardening tunnel where final freezing to -20°C product core temperature takes place.

Before or after hardening, the products can be manually or automatically packed in cartons or bundles. Plastic tubes or cardboard cartons can be filled manually through a can-filling unit equipped to supply single or twin flavors.

Ice cream has come a long way since the first snow cone was made. Innovations in a variety of areas over the past century have led to the development of highly sophisticated, automated manufacturing plants that churn out pint after pint of ice cream. Significant advances in fields such as mechanical refrigeration, chilling and freezing technologies, cleaning and sanitation, packaging, and ingredient functionality have shaped the industry.

New developments in ice cream freezer technology will be likely in the future as freezers are better engineered to control the complex microstructures in ice cream. Current freezers are designed to form ice, create air bubbles, and destabilize fat globules in the short time that ice cream spends in the scraped surface freezer. A better understanding of how to optimize each of these structure developments will lead to more efficient freezer operations.

  1. Reference

Insight on Evaporators Used in Food Industry

We use jam, condensed milk, milk powder, dried cheese powder in day-to-day life, but have you ever wondered how these things are processed? The food industry is booming and ready to eat meal is one of the reasons behind this. Evaporation is one of the important processing which is used by the food industries for the preparation of food products. In the food industry, raw materials are used which contains more water than required in the final product. The easiest way to remove water/concentrate the food product is to use evaporators.

An evaporator is defined as a heat exchanger intended to heat a given product and separate water by evaporation. Evaporators are widely used in the food manufacturing industry to remove the portion of water from food products. This helps in increasing the total solid content in food products and reduction in the bulk weight which ultimately helps in the facilitation of the transport.

The process of evaporation is different from drying and dehydration as the liquid obtained from it is still in a form of non-solid liquid. Evaporation only serves as the first step in making the finished product into concentrated liquid and dried goods. Powdered ingredients like dairy whitener, whey powder etc. are prepared by spray drying. Hence, we can say that powdered products are a combination of both techniques.

Working Principle

Evaporation is a process in which simultaneous heat and mass transfer process occur resulting in the separation of vapour from a solution. Evaporation occurs where molecules obtain enough energy to escape as vapour from a solution. The rate of escape of the surface molecules depends primarily upon the temperature of the liquid, the temperature of the surroundings, the pressure above the liquid, surface area and rate of heat propagation to the product. It is thus a thermal separation or thermal concentration process that begins with a liquid product and ends up with a more concentrated, but still liquid and still pumpable concentrate as the main product from the process.

 

 

Reason for Installation of Evaporators

 There are several reasons for concentrating food liquids:

  • To reduces costs for storage and transportation.
  • To induce crystallization.
  • It may be used as an economical preparatory step for subsequent dehydration as in the cases of spray drying, vacuum drying, freeze-dried, crystallization and mixing.
  • To reduce water activity to increase microbiological and chemical stability.
  • Recover valuable substances and by-products from waste streams.

 Components of Evaporator System 

  1. A heat source: It is generally comprised of a heat exchanger for the evaporation of water.
  2. An evaporation vessel: It drives out water from the product as vapor.
  3. A vapor separation vessel: It separates vapor and product.
  4. A vacuum system: It draws water vapor out of the separation vessel. This vacuum also reduces pressure in the evaporation vessel, which reduces the boiling point.

 

 

Evaporators may operate singly, or several may operate in series. Each one is referred to as an effect and in multiple-effect systems, the product output from one effect is the feed for the following effect. Similarly, higher-temperature vapor driven out of the product in one effect is used to heat a lower-temperature product in another. Efficiency is gained by using multiple-effect systems.

 

Types of Evaporators Used

  1. Circulation or Vertical Tube Evaporators

Tubes carrying the steam internally are placed vertically in the bottom of the cylindrical evaporator, chamber. It is popularly known as Calandria evaporator. As a single pass through the tube heat exchanger is usually not sufficient to achieve the required degree of concentration, the product is returned through the circulation tube.

  1. Horizontal Tube Evaporators

In certain conditions, if, for, example, there is limited vertical space for installation, the tubular heat exchanger can be used as a horizontal evaporator. To ensure that both the top and the bottom tubes are covered with liquid, the evaporator must be operated in a flooded condition, i.e., the feed inlet must be positioned above the uppermost tube. Steam enters a chest on one end of the tubes, moves through the tubes and the condensate is removed from the chest at the opposite end while the vapour is removed from the top of the cylindrical chamber.

  1. Plate Evaporators

The plate evaporator is characterized by a large heat exchange surface occupying a relatively small space. Like the plate heat exchanger, it is constructed from profiled plates with the condensing steam used as a heating medium and the evaporating product passing between alternate pairs. The capacity of a plate evaporator can be altered by changing the number of plates.

  1. Forced Circulation Evaporators

When highly viscous products are to be evaporated, the forces which normally move the liquid along are not sufficient to transport the product satisfactorily. Centrifugal or positive pumps are used for the forced circulation of viscous liquids. The operation is only economical if the product has been pre-concentrated on a simpler evaporator.

  1. Falling Film Evaporators:

The heat exchange surface in a falling film evaporator consists of a bundle of tubes down which the product flows. Depending on the design, the tubes are 4-10 m long and have a diameter of 25-80 mm. The falling film evaporator has become of great importance to the dairy industry. The relatively short contact times and the possibility of accurate temperature control ensure mild evaporating conditions.

Maintenance Tips to Improve Energy Efficiency

Regular maintenance will help ensure that equipment serves a long, useful life and operates efficiently. The following suggestions will help keep your evaporators operating efficiently:

  1. Prevent air leaks into the evaporators to minimize venting rates. Air is a non-condensable gas and must be vented to keep evaporation vessel pressure from increasing.
  2. Clean heat transfer surfaces to allow the most efficient use of energy to evaporate water from the product.
  3. Inspect and repair or replace wet or damaged insulation as it is found. Also, make sure insulation is the appropriate thickness.
  4. Keep the vapor separation vessel clean to maintain product yields and pressure profiles.
  5. Prevent water leaks into the system to avoid diluting the product, which defeats the process.

Evaporators are mainly used to concentrate a weak solution by using a certain heating medium. Most commonly used heating medium is steam and generally, vacuum-based evaporator systems are preferred in the food industry as it lowers the boiling point and thus increases the process efficiency and lower downs the energy usage. Selection of material concentration, product flowability, product characteristics, heat sensitivity, capacity is some of the important factors which are required to be considered for the designing of evaporators. Evaporators must be designed in a way that they can also discard non-condensable gases and material that originate as dissolved material in the evaporator or from leaked air into the evaporator.

References

  1. https://www.thermopedia.com/content/21/
  2. https://dairyprocessinghandbook.tetrapak.com/chapter/evaporators
  3. https://www.lcicorp.com/en/articles/selecting-evaporators-for-process-applications
  4. https://www.pge.com/includes/docs/pdfs/about/edusafety/training/pec/inforesource/food_processing_evaporator_systems.pdf
  5. https://www.lhevaporator.com/products/evaporator-and-crystallizer/steam-heated-evaporator/multiple-effect-evaporator
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaporator#:~:text=An%20evaporator%20is%20a%20device,targeted%20substance%20in%20that%20process.