A yet2 client is seeking technologies and methods that could potentially compete against freezing to extend food shelf life, as well as technologies that could potentially be used to preserve food quality at a temperature closer to ambient (for example, freezing at around -10°C as opposed to -18°C).
There is increasing interest in how sustainable freezing is as a method of food preservation. Although the initial freezing of food is undertaken in a very energy efficient manner, and the storage of frozen food by the end user is also generally energy efficient, there are potential concerns about energy consumption within the distribution chain, especially within retail.
In a retail environment, significant energy can be required to maintain the low temperatures required in both chest and upright freezer cabinets. This might be seen as a weakness of freezing as a method of food preservation, from both a cost and environmental perspective.
Frozen food is generally stored at the industry recommended temperature of -18°C, or below, which for many years has been considered the optimum balance between cost and the preservation of food quality. However, it has been shown that, from a microbiological point of view, food can be safely stored at -10°C. The lower temperature is only required to prevent product deterioration (e.g., discoloration from oxidation).
Our client is therefore interested to understand:
- What emerging food preservation technologies could potentially compete against freezing in the medium to longer term?
- What technologies could potentially be used to preserve food quality, but at a temperature closer to ambient (“shallow” freezing at around -10°C, as opposed to -18°C)?
- Any technology with potential application to food products (especially fish, vegetables, pizzas, and other ready meals)
- Technologies must have evidence to support their capacity to extend food shelf life
- Chilled and ambient solutions will also be considered
Out of Scope
- Concepts which have not been proven to be effective through demonstration units
Desired Outcome of the Solution
Open to discussions, however, partnering with a solution provider with a prototype or commercial technology would be preferable.
Field of Use and Intended Applications
Identification of novel technology solutions for ready-to-eat products.
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