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Developing an industrial scale processing line for muscle food using Soluble Gas Stabilization (SGS) technology

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Kjetil Aune

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EFFoST2017; , 2017-11-13–2017-11-16

Olsen, Anna; Lerfall, Jørgen; Bar, Eirin Marie Skjøndal; Thevik, Kristine; Rotabakk, Bjørn Tore

The soluble gas stabilization (SGS) technology has been proven beneficial for prolonging the shelf life of muscle food such as red meat, white meat (chicken fillet) and seafood. According to research in this area, it is shown that exposing the food samples to carbon dioxide (CO2) before packaging increases the shelf life and preserves the quality of food for a longer time period without any negative influence on taste and visual impression. In addition, the environmental advantages of SGS technology are significant. The food products saturated with CO2 will require less package volume compared with traditional methods such as modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and subsequently contributing to less waste and less transportation needs. Even though SGS technology have shown promising results in lab scale experiments, the main challenge is however to implement a good solution for large-scale SGS processing. As far as we know, such technology does not exist, and a combination of different fields of knowledge is necessary to solve the complex challenges associated with upscaling. The implementation of SGS technology in the industrial scale has two major constraints. First, it is the time needed to saturate enough gas in the samples and second, the use of CO2 on the large scale within a confined space with respect to safety of employees operating the line. The current trend towards increased automation and use of robotics in the food processing lines are aimed at reducing the need of manual labour during processing, higher utilization of raw material, more predictable production and increased profitability. Upscaling of the SGS technology to industry level is expected to conform with the current trend of automation within the food processing industry.