Processing technology for the food industry
Healthy food that tastes good and is easy to prepare – this is what consumers want. Nofima is working with technologies and storage methods to ensure safe food that maintains a high quality for as long as possible.
- Expertise in heat treatment of all raw materials
- Experimental facilities for heat treatment and high-pressure processing
- Expertise in the value chain of seafood from slaughter to consumer
- Product development and knowledge of raw materials
- Consultancy within packaging, preservation and processing
- Courses in hygiene, critical control points, heat treatment, autoclave operation, packaging and packaging technology
- Heat measurement as specified in the IFTPS protocol
- Consultancy within equipment investment for the industry
Food producers use several technologies to meet the demand for easy and healthy food with good flavour and a stamp of freshness, including sous vide, cook-chill, and combinations of various mild preservation methods. They aim to ensure that the food is safe and healthy, while retaining as much as possible of its flavour and moisture.
The scientists at Nofima have long experience and extensive expertise in these technologies. We help food producers along the complete process from the composition of the products, in the choice of production method and equipment, and in finding the optimal heat treatment with respect to time, temperature and pressure/intensity.
We carry out research in methods from traditional heat treatment and preservation, such as sterilisation and pasteurisation, to newer and more gentle processes such as sous vide technology, microwave treatment, heat treatment with agitation, surface pasteurisation, and high-pressure processing.
Often, not only a single ingredient is to be produced, but complete meals and ready-to-eat products. This requires new production technology, new packaging methods and better production hygiene.
It is difficult to compose a meal and preserve texture, flavour and other important properties such as crispness and moisture in all of the components. New ready-to-eat meals are being continually introduced. The food producers require knowledge about how the components influence each other.
Different pretreatments of all the components mean that they will all have optimal flavour when the consumer applies the final touch. Maybe the meal will be microwaved, or heated in water. A great deal of research is required to ensure that all components have a good flavour and have retained their healthy properties.
Furthermore, production must be efficient and consume few resources. Several projects have been started in recent years to develop new and tasty ready-to-eat meals – both for the consumer market and for catering establishments.
Quality and hygiene
Bacteria and other micro-organisms are naturally present in raw materials and present a challenge to ensuring good quality and a long shelf-life of products. For this reason, we work on how to control bacteria and prevent their growth and survival in food and production environments, by using the most suitable methods for packaging, preservation and hygiene for various foods.