Net-based tool will help food producers make healthier and safer food
Imagine if we wasted less food, got more foods without allergens and could spend less energy on food production?
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New food technologies can make this possible if manufacturers know which technologies are appropriate for their business. Today, there is no central place to gather knowledge about which technologies are suitable for different raw materials, products or processes. Now scientists are starting to develop an online tool that will make it easy to choose the right technology.
The new technologies improve shelf-life and processes in food production. These include high pressure technology that keeps nutrients and increases shelf-life, plasma-activated rinse water that fight harmful bacteria, and microwave technology that consumes little energy by bringing heat directly into the food. Also, the technologies pulsed electric fields, ultraviolet light and ultrasound are included.
“The new technologies will provide us with safer and healthier foods, which is good for public health. Longer shelf life can reduce food waste equivalent to approx. NOK 440 million for each additional day of shelf-life, says project manager Estefanía Noriega Fernández in Nofima.
“The food will be more sustainable. We estimate that the food sector can save energy costs up to 5% using the new technologies, and in Norway, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 0.1%. We also believe that the food industry will be able to create more jobs as a result of these new forms of production,” says Noriega.
Nofima is leading the four-year project “iNOBox”, funded by the Research Council of Norway. Together with a number of partners, researchers will close existing knowledge gaps, and develop the online tool in collaboration with food producers. The site will be available for anyone interested in interdisciplinary knowledge about new food technologies.
The project will also provide training opportunities for young scientists through two PhD and two Postdoc positions.
Advanced Microwave Technologies Ltd (AMT), BAMA Gruppen AS, Den Stolte Hane AS, Elea GmbH, Findus Norge AS, Fjordland AS, Fjordkjøkken AS, Hiperbaric SA, HOFF SA, Matbørsen AS, UV Technology Limited, Veterinærinstituttet, Østfoldforskning, University of Zaragoza, University of Liverpool, Campden BRI (Chipping Campden) Limited, TNO, Nofima.