Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research2013 Annual Report
1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The ultimate goal of this project is to create new and alternative technologies to produce peeled, pasteurized, blanched, dehydrated/partially-dehydrated, and/or infused/coated fruits and vegetables, restructured fruits and vegetable products, nuts, rice, or fish by-products by using a combination of infrared dry-blanching (IDB), infrared peeling, freezing, freeze drying, air drying, pulsed electric field, and/or infusion/coating or related processing technologies. The new processing technologies would produce processed products with improved texture and nutritional quality, lowered production costs and reduced microbial loads compared to current technologies. The developed products may be used for cereals, snacks, and other applications.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Fresh and/or frozen fruits and vegetables, fresh and frozen fruit and vegetable purees, nuts, rice, and/or fish by-products will be used for this research. The new processing methods may include IDB, infrared peeling, infrared drying, freeze drying, freezing, air drying, pulsed electric filed, ultrasonic treatment, dipping, infusion, and/or coating or combinations of some of the processing methods. The sliced or restructured fruits and vegetables may be dipped in antioxidant solution for prevention of discoloration prior to any thermal processing steps. The effect of infusion/coating of flavors, humectants, nutrients, and phytochemicals at various processing stages on product quality and processing characteristics will be tested and evaluated.
3. Progress Report:
Progress report addresses Objective 2: "Develop sustainable infrared technologies that can be used for process- and energy-efficient blanching, dehydration, pasteurization, and peeling of specialty crops" of the parent project. The project continues the development of applications of infrared heating for various food and agricultural products, including rice, walnuts, almonds, and waste products from fruit processing. Meanwhile, a great effort has been made to work with industry partners to commercialize the infrared dry-blanching and drying technology. The research results obtained from commercial scale production tests have shown that using infrared dry-blanching and partial drying as a pretreatment method in potato chip production effectively reduced the fat content and reduced frying time. It is expected that the technology will be adopted in the industry in the future.