The two-year project, funded by Innovate UK, which involves equipment suppliers OAL and BOC in partnership with The University of Lincoln and Iceland Manufacturing, also aims to help tackle the problem of food waste and increase the speed of production.
The Advanced Cooking and Cooling Technology (ACCT) project will be led by OAL and will seek to combine OAL’s rapid cooking Steam Infusion Vaction technology with a rapid cryogenic cooler from BOC.
Enhancing ready meals manufacture
It will enable just-in-time production, enhancing the manufacture of ready meals, soups and other sauce-based foods.
“Innovation is critical in enabling us to minimise the cost of manufacturing food products,” said OAL md Harry Norman. “Cryogenic cooling offers fantastic opportunities for our customers to improve product while at the same time reducing costs.”
Maximise nutritional value
Over the two-year project, the team plans to gain a full scientific understanding of the effects of rapid cooling using liquid nitrogen on sauces and soups, and the vegetables, fruits and meats they contain in order to maximise nutritional values.
Product shelf-life could also be increased and waste minimised as a fully flexible process is developed, which will reduce production times, cleaning and changeover times.