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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Healthy Processed Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #318054

Research Project: New Sustainable Processing Technologies to Produce Healthy, Value-Added Foods from Specialty Crops

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

Title: Infrared heating

item Pan, Zhongli
item Atungulu, Griffiths - University Of Arkansas
item Li, Xuan - University Of California

Submitted to: Emerging Technologies in Food Processing
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/30/2015
Publication Date: 9/15/2015
Citation: Pan, Z., Atungulu, G.G., Li, X. 2015. Infrared heating. In: Sun, D., editor. Emerging Technologies in Food Processing. 2nd edition. London, UK: Elsevier Limited. p. 461-476.

Interpretive Summary: In the past two decades, researchers have made significant progress in understanding the mechanism of IR heating of food products, and the interactions between IR radiation and food components. Novel approaches that use IR in lieu of conventional methods for energy-efficient, sustainable, and economic food processing without significant negative environmental impacts have been developed and reported. At the same time, the design and efficiency of IR emitters have also been improved. This chapter brings to researchers and professionals this updated knowledge and novel applications, as well as exploring the potential of IR heating technology for food and agricultural product processing.

Technical Abstract: IR heating was first industrially used in the 1930s for automotive curing applications and rapidly became a widely applied technology in the manufacturing industry. Contrarily, a slower pace in the development of IR technologies for processing foods and agricultural products was observed, due to limited progress in research addressing the challenges in food and agricultural processes. The major obstacle to the adoption of IR technology here was a lack of understanding of the technology and processing control. But with the changes that currently demand that the agricultural sector adopts energy-efficient, less water-intensive, and environmentally friendly technologies, the applications of IR technology have gained more attention as alternatives to other processing technologies. They have advantages, such as uniform heating, high heat transfer rate, reduced processing time and energy consumption, improved product quality, and safety. Currently, the merits of IR application for food processing are evidenced by the increase in published literature articles on the subject in different research journals in the food and agricultural processing area.