content tagged as Food Engineering

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When it comes to communicating the benefits of technologies, don’t settle for leftovers.

The biosensors industry is now worth billions of US dollars, with applications mostly in the biomedical field. The use of biosensors as emerging technologies could revolutionize the study and detection of foodborne pathogens, toxins, allergens, contaminants, and biomarkers for food quality. The development of biosensors will further serve the food industry, agricultural sector, regulatory community, and public health. Even though the biosensor research field attracts the attention of national initiatives across the world and tens of thousands of papers have been published in the area, very few of these biosensor technologies actually translate from research labs to real-life applications, in particular for food systems applications. This symposium will feature some recent and significant advances in the field of biosensing and its applications to food safety, food quality, and food processing and agriculture, as well as other biological systems. Presentations will provide insightful scientific and engineering analysis of advanced biosensor systems and propose future research directions. The speakers will address current innovations and challenges in biosensing technology and discuss strategies and current efforts to translate current research to real-life applications. To maximize the attendance and impact of this symposium, presenters have been carefully chosen for their diverse expertise on biosensing technologies, including real-time portable and disposable biosensors for the detection of infectious pathogens using nanotechnology approaches, new methods for pre-concentration and detection of infectious pathogens in food matrices using magnetic and gold-functionalized nanoparticles, novel antimicrobial agents to control antibiotic resistant bacterial, optical-based nanobiosensor designs to detect and discriminate neurotoxins in food, and sensors and high-throughput screening technologies for measuring multiple pathogens, spoilage microorganisms, and biomarkers of contamination in food and agricultural products.
Cold plasma has been used in the food industry since the 19th century for disinfecting water based on the generation of ozone. In recent years, the interest in cold plasma processing as an emerging non-thermal technology in food production has increased. Plasma is defined as an (at least partially) ionized gas and is sometimes called the fourth state of matter. Depending on the system configuration and the feed gas used, plasma consists primarily of different reactive components such as ions, free electrons, photons, and atoms. Due to the wide variety of cold plasma systems, cold plasma can be applied at different points along the food chain; for production, modification, and preservation, as well as in packaging of plant- and animal-originated food.

The generated reactive components of plasma have high diffusivity and are able to access the entire food surface rapidly. The application of cold plasma has a high antimicrobial efficiency, and also acts against bacterial spores at temperatures below 70°C, which allows the potential extension of the shelf life of food and increases food quality as well as reducing storage losses. Aside from microbial inactivation, cold plasma can likewise be used for the tailored modification of surface properties. As research progresses, cold plasma could be applied to many food products that are dry, fresh, solid, or liquid, and has a negligible impact on their matrix. However, cold plasma also has some limitations and faces challenges; for example, in high-fat foods the reactive oxygen components of plasma could lead to possible oxidative reactions.

In this session we will highlight the current state of cold plasma technology in the food industry. The speakers selected for this symposium (one from industry, two from academia) will share their experience and knowledge of a wide variety of cold plasma generation systems for microbial inactivation and their effects on various food matrices. Presenters will also discuss future research needs and plausible applications in the food industry.
Compression of food in utilized to engineer low volume, high density products that fulfill nutritional or functional requirements for products. Compression is used to create meal replacement bars, snack items, and nutritionally dense food items. Increased caloric density and portability/low volume requirements have been goals for both military and space-exploration feeding; operational ration components for the military are required to be lightweight and highly portable, while foods used in the space program are subject to stringent weight and volume constraints. Uniaxial compression has been the historical norm for producing such products; however, the recent application of sonic welding technology to food compression has enabled the development of innovative products that reduce or eliminate the use of chemical “binders” that are conventionally required to achieve a compressed product. This symposium will include talks highlighting: caloric densification efforts, technologies, and products employed in military ration component development; densified meal-bar research and development for NASA; sonic compression technology applications to food; and mechanics of food compression and mechanical analysis of foods.

Several speakers in this session will focus on the application of compression and caloric densification which can be used for special missions or commercial application. One speaker will focus on the application of conventional compression and ultrasonic compression to develop a nutrient dense meal replacement bar for space feeding. Another speaker will apply this technology to develop lightweight, easy-to-consume, nutrient-dense ration components for military field feeding. A third speaker will discuss the application of a novel compression technology that eliminates the need of binders/fillers (these ingredients can be replaced with micro nutrients, macro nutrients, and/or bioactive compounds) to produce a robustly agglomerated, pliable product.
Survival of bacterial spores, particularly Clostridium botulinum, in low acid shelf stable and refrigerated foods poses a food safety risk during storage and distribution of the products. Nonthermal processing technologies including high-pressure processing and other combined technologies have the potential of inactivating bacterial spores at reduced thermal requirements, achieving food safety without compromising the sensory and nutritional quality of the products. In a typical high-pressure process, the food material is vacuum packaged and subjected to pressure treatment (600 MPa at ambient or chilled conditions for 3-5 min). Meat, seafood, vegetable and fruit juices, sauces, and salads are examples of products available in the market today. Pressure pasteurized products are distributed under refrigerated conditions and have a shelf life of six to eight weeks. While pressure treatment is effective in reducing more than 5-logs of variety of vegetative pathogens, high-pressure treatment alone is not sufficient to inactivate spores of harmful pathogens such as Clostridium botulinum. Careful attention must be paid to maintaining refrigerated temperature conditions when handling and distributing pressure pasteurized low-acid foods. Speakers discuss potential microbial risks associated with survival of Clostridium spores in pressure pasteurized low-acid foods. Spore physiology during germination and inactivation by pressure will be presented. Food processing, ingredient, and storage factors that can help mitigate the botulinum risk will be discussed. Novel processing-based approaches for preserving extended shelf life or ambient stable low-acid foods will be discussed.
The human population will grow quickly over the next 40 years, which creates a need to be sustainable in terms of food production. However, today’s production exceeds environmental limits and food production has a significant influence on greenhouse gas emissions, the use of land and water resources, pollution, and on the reduction of food production due to climate change. In addition, there are losses in the food production chain from farm to fork. Therefore, efforts need to be made to reduce these losses and intensify the use of side streams of food production and value add the production of co-products (e.g. extract highly bioactive compounds or other compounds of nutritional value, or transform the whole by-product into a co-product without any residue)

To ensure the world population is fed with healthy foods produced with only minimal effect on the environment, a long-term, intensified effort is needed on all levels, including: country-led transformation, global cooperation, and community action. In this session, we will underline and highlight the underlying causes for food loss along the value chain and introduce opportunities at a global scale to reduce food loss and waste and improve the sustainability of food chains from farm to fork. The speakers selected for this symposium, one from the industry, one from government, and two from academia, will share their experience and knowledge of what is currently done on the industry and research sides to tackle the challenges introduced.

The symposium is being organized and moderated by Dr. Robert Sevenich (Technische Universität Berlin), Dr. Pablo Juliano (CSIRO-Australia) and Myriam Loeffler (Universität Hohenheim).
There exists a serious gap between knowledge generated at a university level and implementation in the food industry. The current session aims to help bridge this gap by highlighting the challenges involved in technology transfer, with concrete examples and strategies on how to overcome this issue, under a variety of circumstances. The speakers have been selected based on their successes in executing such transfer projects, and will share their experiences and lessons learned with the audience. Such examples are not only limited to upscaling from academia to industry, but also about downscaling industry-level problems to the university environment to understand the fundamentals of the problems at hand, as well as examples of industry members working closely with their own operations teams and external suppliers, to innovate and industrialize in an accelerated fashion.

Four cases will be presented, moreover, two of the case studies also include information on industrial joint research funding, a concept that is attractive for both universities and industry.
This symposium looks at the various undergraduate and graduate programs that are offered around the world related to food science and/or one specialization in food science and examines the particularities of these programs depending on country. This symposium will gather faculty from North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.

Participants will learn about the unique approach that each program/country involved in this symposium is offering as regards the teaching of food science to undergraduate and graduate students. Ideas about how each country could strengthen the curriculum in food science could help student exchanges around the world through better knowledge of how each country is approaching food science, as well as help harmonize food science programs around the world.
The beverage industry is in a major shift, with consumer needs continuously evolving towards simpler, minimally processed, and preservative-free products. As a result, newer processing technologies are sought after as an alternative or complement to conventional thermal treatments to create a more natural, authentic image and to counteract the negative perceptions associated with heavily processed beverages. These technologies need to be efficient at the commercial scale and deliver consistent product safety, nutrition value, and high quality to the consumer. Technologies such as Hydrodynamic Cavitation Processing, High Pressure Processing (HPP), High Pressure Homogenization (HPH), High Pressure Jet Processing (HPJ), and UV and Pulsed Light have emerged as potential alternatives to conventional thermal processing. Speakers in this symposium will share insights and recent findings on some of these new technologies that are already used at a commercial scale and address practical challenges and future possibilities.
Salmonella contamination in low-moisture foods has been a serious concern in recent years. The strong thermal resistance of bacteria makes it difficult to pasteurize low-moisture foods using conventional methods. This session will introduce recent developments of pasteurization technologies and their applications, and new findings related to the behavior of pathogenic bacteria as affected by water activity.