The world produces 195 billion liters of beer every year. At the same time, the chain of complex technological processes of production of different varieties and types of this drink often leads to the fact that the result leaves much to be desired.
The biggest problem is the need to pasteurize huge amounts of product in order to increase its shelf life. Typically, factories use steam for processing.
The problem is that steam is energy-hungry, not very efficient, and heats the food too slowly, which in some cases makes it look more like a soda than a beer.
Induction Food Systems (IFS), a Purdue University company, has proposed a new system for processing beer, juices, and other beverages. According to the founder of IFS Francesco Eimoni, the traditional process of heating drinks during their production is long and not the best effect on the taste and consistency of the final product, and therefore requires improvement.
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The innovative processing method proposed by the IFS is designed to replace the steam technology used in pasteurization. It is based on application of electromagnetic induction.
As the creators explain, the solution consists of an electronically controlled external coil that generates radio waves of high frequency and a heating induction element built into one of the sections of the pipe. As beer or other beverage passes through this section, it is heated. It is noted that thanks to this design, the system can operate in two modes: a rapid short-term heating of the liquid by passing a section of the pipe with a heating element (as in pasteurization) or heating of the entire volume of the liquid in its multiple circulation.
What can this innovation bring to the food industry?
The creators say that the method they propose is scalable, and the necessary equipment is easy to install on existing production facilities. At the same time, the IFS development provides 600% more accurate temperature control. In addition, the technology is 3-5 times more energy efficient and the heating process is 24 times faster.
Another important advantage is the system’s compactness: according to the creators, it takes up 80% less space than traditional steamers.
It is known that the technology has already passed the first and most extensive stage of testing before entering the commercial market, scheduled for the end of the year.