FieldFOOD will provide innovative solutions to overcome existing bottlenecks associated with Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) implementation in the food industry with the final goal of providing a real-scale demonstration of the viability of the PEF technology. A detailed process analysis of the different applications of the PEF technology in the different industrial partners will be undertaken to fully evaluate not only the advantages of the introduction of the technology but also the specific requirements of each application to optimize the benefits of the implementation of the technology and to design modular, portable, low-cost pulse generators tailored for each particular application.
The FieldFOOD project will also involve economic and environmental impact studies. When new technologies are introduced in food processing, the environmental impact of industrial activities changes. Thus both the direct effects derived of changes in energy use, water use and waste generation and indirect effects including raw material utilisation and changed waste management options arising from introduction of the technology will be evaluated. In order to evaluate these environmental effects, Life cycle assessments (LCA) of the products obtained by introduction of PEF in the processing lines will be conducted and compared with the LCA of the products obtained with the current processing lines. Demonstration activities performed in an operational environment and experimental production conducted on site will permit the identification and reduction of risks associated with the scaling-up of PEF. The participation of SMEs in FieldFOOD aims to overcome barriers to accessing innovation to maintain their competitiveness and it will be critical to closing the lab-to market gap that has hindered the uptake of promising research on PEF into real food applications.
The overall objective of the FieldFOOD proposal is to address successful, real-scale demonstrations of the viability of the introduction of the Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) technology as a strategy to improve the competitiveness of the European food industry by different means:
improving food quality (safety, nutritional, and sensorial properties)
optimizing process efficiency
reducing energetic costs
and introducing new foods in the market.
CIRCE will be the coordinator of the Industrial demonstration activities, due its experience in process engineering and optimization.
CIRCE will evaluate the influence of the annual variation in the raw material on the benefits derived from the introduction of the technology. This will allow to fine-tune the tailored PEF equipment and processing conditions from one year to other if necessary and obtained reliable conclusions on the benefits of the introduction of the PEF technology
All its activities in the project will especially be focused on supporting sustainability of the food processing line derived for the introduction of the PEF technology