Research Focus Areas
Industrial, Agriculture and Water Research Projects
Agriculture and Food Processing
The proposed research is to develop and demonstrate an infrared dry-blanching and drying system for fruits or vegetables that results in high quality products. The sequential infrared and freeze-drying (SIRFD) method is estimated to reduce energy use by 40 percent compared to traditional freeze-drying methods. The simultaneous infrared dry-blanching and dehydration (SIRDBD) method eliminates the water or steam used in traditional blanching and reduces energy use.
This research will use infrared heating technology for peeling tomatoes. Infrared dry-peeling, a device that uses electromagnetic radiation to peel tomatoes, shows promise in reducing energy consumption, producing less wastewater and preserving product quality. Infrared dry-peeling is expected to reduce the tomato peeling loss significantly and result in a firmer product as compared to chemical peeling.
This project will evaluate whether the new drying and nutrients extraction technology allows a higher yield extraction of lipids and nutrients from fruits and vegetables as compared to conventional techniques. The research will also quantify the new technology's energy savings for the extraction process.