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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Healthy Processed Foods Research » Research » Research Project #434715

Research Project: Preservation of Food By Isochoric (Constant Volume) Freezing

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

Project Number: 2030-41000-064-23-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2018
End Date: Mar 31, 2022

Objective:
To develop a novel freezing method, isochoric (constant volume) freezing for foods.

Approach:
We propose to investigate and develop a new technology for preservation of food by freezing. Preservation of food by freezing is an important means by which wide distribution of foods from producers to consumers around the world, is enabled. The last century has witnessed substantial advances in the science and technology of the frozen food industry. However, all current methods for food preservation employ various variants of isobaric (constant pressure) systems (atmospheric or hyperbaric). We have pioneered the concept of isochoric (constant volume) refrigeration systems and our preliminary studies have shown that the technology has the potential to: a) substantially improve the quality of the frozen food, b) improve the safety of the frozen foods, c) substantially reduce the energy costs of refrigeration. The goal of the proposed study is to systematically develop the isochoric refrigeration of foods concept to market implementation by quantification of the effects of thermal parameters on: a) the quality of the food product, b) sterilization from microorganisms and parasites, c) reducing the energy costs of freezing. In these aspects we will focus first on food items for which isobaric freezing is either suboptimal or impossible. These include leafy greens, tomatoes, raspberries and tuna. In addition, a substantial part of the work will be dedicated to educating shareholders on the principles of isochoric freezing and advising on ways to introduce the technology to their products.