Non Technical Summary
Consumers expect the U.S. food industry to develop and deliver safe, high-quality, nutritious, and healthy food products while also addressing several emerging sustainability issues such as resource consumption, food loss and waste, food waste management, and food safety. With these demands have emerged a need for food engineers to develop and deliver novel solutions to address these competing challenges. Food engineering and processing research is critical for the U.S. food industry to develop and process nutritious and safe food products. The food industry must constantly redefine technology to assure wholesomeness in processed foods. New and existing technologies must meet the challenge and play a pivotal role in improving the quality of value-added food products. To effectively compete in the global markets, the U.S. food industry requires ready access to the scientific knowledge, well prepared personnel with appropriate skills, and a continuous dialog between academic researchers and industry practitioners.However, many key technical hurdles need to be overcome to meet these goals. To solve these technical hurdles, there is a critical need for interdisciplinary efforts and collaboration among food engineers, food scientists, and food industry professionals across the nation. Novel thermal processing technologies will be investigated for various food processing applications. These technologies include high pressure processing, pulsed ultraviolet light, ozone, and electrolyzed oxidizing water. Processing parameters will be optimized for specific applications to make the process more economical and less nutritionally destructive to the processed foods. Furthermore, cleaning and sanitation of food processing equipment will also be investigated by these novel approaches. Teaching modules on novel food processing technologies will also be developed.The overall outcome of the project is to develop technologies to provide safe foods with highest quality for the consumers.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories
Goals / Objectives
Develop advanced and sustainable processing and packaging technologies to transform raw materials into safe, high quality, health-promoting, and value-added foods.
Develop mechanistic and data-driven mathematical models to enhance understanding and optimization of processes and products that will ensure sustainable and agile food manufacturing for safe, high quality, and health-promoting foods.
Adapt pedagogical strategies involving novel educational approaches to enhance and assess student learning of food engineering.
1. Develop advanced and sustainable processing and packaging technologies to transform raw materials into safe, high quality, health-promoting, and value-added foods.There have been a significant number of collaborations between NC1023 members in food process development and evaluation. We will use innovative cross-disciplinary technologies to meet consumer demand for safe, high quality, and health-promoting food products with extended shelf-life and convenience. Technologies to be investigated include high-pressure based technologies, vacuum frying, vacuum drying, and vacuum roasting. These processes will be optimized in terms of operating parameters (Anantheswaran).We will evaluate and optimize the specific processing parameters as related to non-thermal processes including ozone, pulsed UV light, and electrolyzed oxidizing (EO) water for decontamination of (liquid and solid) foods as well as cleaning and sanitizing of food processing equipment surfaces.We will also work on understanding issues related to the scale-up of these processing technologies for industrial applications (Demirci).2. Develop mechanistic and data-driven mathematical models to enhance understanding and optimization of processes and products that will ensure sustainable and agile food manufacturing for safe, high quality, and health-promoting foods.Due to the complementary expertise of NC1023 members in development of multi-physics models as well as process development and food property quantification, there have been many successful modeling collaborations in the past. We will develop validationprotocols for FSMA required sanitation processes for a commercial mushroom slicer will be developed by determining the cold spots within the complex geometry of the slicer enabled through modeling of the fluid flow and the heat transfer. A prototype unit will be built in collaboration with the manufacturer of the commercial mushroom slicer to monitor time-temperature distribution during the sanitation process (Anantheswaran).The generated data for the evaluated non-thermal processing technologies will be used for mechanistic and mathematical models for simulation and scale-up purposes. To do this, primary and secondary models will be used, and the generated models will be validated (Demirci)3. Adapt pedagogical strategies involving novel educational approaches to enhance and assess student learning of food engineering.Another area where NC1023 members have had previous and current successful collaborations is in development and utilization of pedagogical strategies in teaching food science and food engineering. Inclusion of new topics and novel teaching approaches in Food Engineering and Food Processing Curricula will be looked into. Undergraduate and graduate students will be exposed to research results from this project through courses. Techniques such as active learning using multidisciplinary situations will be incorporated in courses in order to improve problem-solving skills. Furthermore, the generated information will be disseminated by publishing review papers at peer-reviewed journals and book chapters in textbooks and reference books. This is important for food engineering education, as food safety and food quality are topics that are inherently multi-disciplinary (Anantheswaran & Demirci).