NASA-backed food tech to improve food production


Friday, 07 December, 2018

NASA-backed food tech to improve food production

Technology originally developed for lunar space exploration can provide on-demand heating options for food and beverage manufacturers.

Purdue University-affiliated start-up Induction Food Systems (IFS) developed the technology using a Small Business Innovation Research grant from NASA. George Sadler, Purdue College of Agriculture alumnus and co-founder of IFS, and partner Francesco Aimone from Columbia University recognised its potential in the $20 billion market for heating equipment in the food and beverage segment.

Aimone noted that the same basic food production processes such as pasteurisation have been used for more than 100 years, and IFS’s technology can increase the speed and efficiency of food production.

“When foods like orange juice are heated up during manufacturing, you lose some of the fresh, authentic taste,” he said. “Our on-demand heating systems give small and large manufacturers a better option to expand production of high-quality products by using plug-and-play heating equipment that is much quicker and about six times more precise than traditional methods.”

It uses a coil and core design in its heating systems and solid-state electronics to generate electromagnetic energy instead of the traditional combustion that creates steam in boilers.

The next round of pilot testing will take place later this year.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/cosma

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