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Intelligent control of fat crystallization using sensors and expert systems


Optimal process conditions In the oil and fat processing industry are often determined by time-consuming off-line blend characterization. Due to constant variation in product properties and change in raw material fat blends (up to 500 blende used) accurate process control is important. This is often initiated through manually product inspection by skilled operators. However irregular monitoring intervals and suboptimal process adaptations reduces the overall economic efficiency by the extra use of labour, raw materials and energy. A large amount of resources are involved: a total overall potential efficiency improvement of 250 Mecu in EC annually is estimated. For this reason there is a great industrial interest to have structural product-related expertise at their disposal. Compared with the (petro-)chemical, polymer and construction industry where innovative techniques as sensors, intelligent control systems (self-learning software), human expertise integration are applied on a large scale, the food processing industry is making less use of this innovative technology. Although the food processing industry has its own specific complexity, the adaptation and implementation of sensor techniques and intelligent control systems, successfully applied in other industrial processes, seem very challenging. The RTD goals to be reached in this research project are: * optimization of the fat crystallization process through the development of a product monitoring and intelligent control prototype system: * testing and implementation of the system under lab- and pilot-scale conditions; ' efficiency improvement in the oil and fat processing industry by better use of labour, raw materials and energy (estimated loss decrease by 50 %); The development and successful demonstration of an intelligent control prototype system for fat crystallization can be used as an example for innovative technology application in other branches in the food processing industry. New market perspectives for sensor, software and food processing equipment producers can be created.

Funding Scheme

EAW - Exploratory awards


3743 KM Baarn

Participants (1)

Gerstenberg & Agger A/S
1809 Frederiksberg C - Copenhagen