SINTEF - Articles and news items

Research for industrial implementation

Issue 1 2012  •  6 March 2012  •  Astrid Stevik, Research Scientist, SINTEF

In 2007, the Norwegian Research Council and several other funders enabled the (so far) largest competence building project in Norway within superchilling of fresh food, KMB Competitive Food Processing in Norway. SINTEF Energy Research has conducted the work together with dedicated industrial and research partners, and after five years of in-depth research on superchilling, the state-of-the-art boundary for the superchilling concept has been considerably moved.

The superchilling concept, lowering of the product temperature below the initial freezing point of the current product, has been known for decades. In spite of this, the industrial application of superchilling has been prevented by many barriers. Technological challenges have to some extent been an issue, but more important are the rigid conceptions on the disadvantages and limitations of superchilling which have prevented the breakthrough of this powerful tool for prolonging the shelf-life of fresh food. Thus, the KMB project was aimed at lowering the barrier for industrial implementation of superchilling by addressing some of the major challenges and myths through research, development and extensive cooperation with industrial partners.

Ice fraction assessment by near infrared spectroscopy

Issue 4 2010  •  26 August 2010  •  Astrid Stevik, Research Scientist, SINTEF

The discussion of the energy crisis for a steadily growing population is often limited to scarce amounts of electric power based on more or less environmentally friendly energy sources. However, lack of food, and in particular fresh food, is also part of the current energy crisis. Fresh food is one of the most valuable sources of energy and broad research and technology development is constantly ongoing to protect and utilise fresh food for human consumption in an energy efficient way.

The challenge for the food industry is consequently to conserve and utilise fresh food to give a high quality product, defeating the barriers of costs and varying storage/transport conditions. During the past decade, superchilling of fresh food has come up as an alternative and supplement to traditional conservation methods like freezing and chilling, and the R&D results for superchilling technology are promising.