In the industrial food industry, microwave technologies are the most commonly used applications. As in other industries, the biggest benefits of microwaves are speed, even heat distribution and significant energy savings.
Microwaves are a fast, economical and hygienic way to quickly defrost food for further use. A relatively compact equipment can defrost a few tons of product per hour. Thanks to the rapid frosting, the product retains more weight and, at the same time, does not risk the development of pathogens.
Because microwaves penetrate the entire structure of the material, they can heat it faster than conventional technologies. This makes it possible to significantly reduce the total cooking time and, in some cases, even reduce energy consumption. A whole range of foods can be pre-cooked, and in some cases even fully cooked, from potatoes to pastries and to meat.
Some foods, such as nuts, dried fruits, or spices, often need to be sterilized. Microwave sterilization, thanks to its rapid rise to the required temperature, preserves maximum nutrients in the material, has minimal effect on texture and colour, and in many cases enhances flavour.
With the help of microwaves, roasting can be done without the presence of a heat transfer medium, so that the energy is distributed directly into the product. There is no need to heat the oil or air. Microwave roasting is fast and will enhance the taste of the food in most applications.
Some crops have a tendency to become bitter over time and therefore need to be stabilised to prolong their shelf life. The microwave method of this process is unique in the world and is characterized by its speed, simplicity of deployment and enhanced flavour of the stabilized product. This is most commonly used to stabilize poppies.
TIP: Interested in learning more? Read our case study on how microwave stabilisation brings out the taste of poppies and at the same time significantly improves processing efficiency.
The great advantage of microwave drying is its significant speed. Our technology is mainly used in food processing plants with high added value, or when other drying methods are difficult or even impossible.
Do you want to use microwaves in your operations? Contact us.
Benefits of microwaves
Microwaves have reduced the volumes of defective deliveries to a nut importer, saving millions of crowns each year
Although most nut suppliers have contractual agreements with manufacturers that the product must comply with food safety, it is common that this condition is not met. In countries where nuts are grown, hygiene is often not sufficiently prioritized. What then do you do with a truck that has already arrived at the site and there is a risk that some of the goods may not pass laboratory tests?
What we’ve been dealing with
All imported nuts and dried fruits must undergo strict microbiological inspections after importation. The customer, the importer of these goods, wished to have the possibility to sterilize such a product quickly, efficiently and safely, avoiding any possible destruction or failure to comply with the prescribed standards. We came up with a solution that not only fulfilled his specifications, but also helped the taste of the final product.
What solution we have chosen
The customer’s basic requirement was a wide range of products that could be sterilized using the technology. The equipment was supposed to be able to work with products of sesame seeds size, but also be applicable to peanuts, almonds and the like. We have therefore chosen a unique concept of microwave drum, which not only manages to cope with similar products, but also reduces environmental dust and the risk of products falling off the conveyor belt.
The machine is equipped with an automatic product weighing and dispensing system. At the same time, the drum itself is also constantly weighted, so the equipment automatically recognizes what power needs to be radiated into the material. The only thing that needs to be adjusted is the corresponding recipe, as each product has its own angle of repose, which the necessary drum inclination depends on.
The benefits include:
- A fast process that ensures the preservation of the product form and its nutritional values
- Microwave heating improves the taste of processed products
- Full automation of operations and reduction of personnel costs
- Lower consumption of electricity
The microwave equipment was supplied in 2018 and it has quickly become one of the most important machines in the plant running in three-shift operation most of the time. In addition to sterilization, the customer also uses it for drying, roasting and enzymatic inactivation. Since the installation of the equipment, the customer has had no problem with microbiological tests on import, and the buyers themselves have been happy about a stronger taste of the nuts themselves.
The microwave stabilization makes the poppy taste stand out. It is thus the ideal technology for its treatment
Microwave technology has enabled the customer to better plan production, reduce costs, and enhance the taste of the processed poppy.
What we’ve been dealing with
Poppy intended for further use in the food industry tends to become bitter over time. It is therefore advisable that it undergoes heat stabilization. By default, steam technology is used for stabilization, but it is outdated, inefficient and suppresses the taste of poppy seeds.
The customer, a major producer in the bakery sector, wondered whether there was a chance that we would replace the steam method with microwaves, which would help him to innovate, streamline and automate the process. A few initial experiments have shown that this is possible and that the method has potential.
What solution we have chosen
After months of calibration and testing, the right recipe was found. We collaborated with an independent commission on the solution, which was the guarantor that the taste and other properties of the poppy would be preserved during microwave stabilization.
In the end, the Commission’s verdict was unequivocal: „Real poppy taste, the best we’ve ever tasted.“
It was possible to heat the product in a continuous belt device. The whole process is thus continuously running at only 4 meters. This means that:
- The whole process is faster and can be better planned
- Stabilization not only keeps, but even enhances the taste of poppy
- There is no need for large spaces, the microwave fits in a small footprint
- Full process automation is possible
The microwave equipment has served for 20 years to the full satisfaction of the customer. The preservation and enhancement of the unique taste of the supplied poppy seeds helped the customer establish himself on the market and find his regular customers here.
The local market has become so used to this taste that we can no longer afford to change anything in the process.
In 2018, the company ordered a second line and expanded production.
Customer: Significant producer of ready-to-use mixtures for bakers
Implementation date: 1998, second equipment 2018