The EU market for processed foods is changing: there is now an increasing demand by consumers for foods that have undergone fewer changes during processing, foods that resemble more to the original raw materials with high nutritive values, flavour and a “natural” image.
These pressures are especially significant for a SME dominated sector, the dried foods: although it represents more than €8 billion in Europe, the sales of dried foods are currently in stagnation or declining. Indeed, not only the food processing machinery SMEs must improve the drying process to achieve high quality dried food to meet the customer high requirements, but also they must tackle the energy consumption and pollution issues which are typical of such equipment.
For the food machinery SMEs, today is the time to respond to these changes and enable the dried food industries to recover their competitiveness. To do so, they need to face 3 main challenges: Low quality of the final dried products, High energy consumption to dry the raw materials, Significant environmental pollution, via CO2/odor emissions.
The STEAMDRY project gathers 4 SMEs and 1 association, which aims at developing a new drying plant to allow food producers and food processing SMEs to dry their foods with efficiency, high quality and sustainability, thanks to:
-Innovative drying technology, using superheated steam at low pressure, ensuring efficiency through better heat transfer and a better quality of product due to lower temperature
-2-step cleaning system to remove the dust/particles from the extra steam and allow its reuse in the upstream process, reducing the energy bill
-New optical multi-sensor integrated in the process control, to monitor the food drying quality along with the energy balance of the system.
The STEAMDRY process will enable the food processing machinery and food processing SMEs to recover their competitivity via the production of high quality dried products, with lower process impact on energy environment
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeBSG-SME - Research for SMEs