Food Refrigeration Innovations for Safety, consumer Benefit, Environmental impact and Energy optimization along cold chain in Europe
The project will develop new innovative mathematical modelling tools that combine food quality and safety together with energy, environmental and economic aspects to predict and control food quality and safety in the cold chain. The FRISBEE partners will develop new and emerging refrigeration technologies providing energy efficient and sustainable alternatives to current technologies.
The project is constructed around 8 work packages. Management is covered in work package 1. Work package 2 will develop innovative databases of current technologies to enable later comparison between new and current technologies. Work package 3 will develop Quality and Energy/Environment Assessment Tools (QEEAT). In work packages 4 and 5 the team will develop new and emerging refrigeration technologies for representative cold chains selected for applicability to the European food industry. Work from work packages 4 and 5 will be further developed and demonstrated in work packages 6 and 7. Work from the project will be disseminated widely in work package 8.
The project involves 26 partners from 12 EU member, associated and candidate countries. Within the consortium, 13 of the partners are companies, 2 are NGOs or represent other companies (mainly SMEs) and the remainder are research based partners. The consortium includes 6 SME partners. The international expertise and synergy of the 26 FRISBEE partners enables the work to be exploited on a European level. Therefore it is expected that the European food industry, related cold chain actors and consumers will all benefit from the FRISBEE project.
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE EN SCIENCES ET TECHNOLOGIES POUR L'ENVIRONNEMENT ET L'AGRICULTURE
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KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
€ 601 798
NEDERLANDSE ORGANISATIE VOOR TOEGEPAST NATUURWETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK TNO
€ 479 601
LONDON SOUTH BANK UNIVERSITY LBG
€ 600 709
€ 256 525
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€ 413 560
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€ 349 663
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€ 305 121
€ 87 024
€ 109 442
€ 123 480
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€ 148 906
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€ 90 160
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€ 93 688
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€ 70 131
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€ 172 193
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€ 356 271
€ 267 958
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€ 189 875
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€ 42 800
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€ 32 641
€ 24 936
FATLAND JAEREN AS
€ 24 937
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€ 120 000
Grant agreement ID: 245288
1 September 2010
31 August 2014
€ 8 165 746,20
€ 5 992 082
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE EN SCIENCES ET TECHNOLOGIES POUR L'ENVIRONNEMENT ET L'AGRICULTURE
This project is featured in...
Improving refrigeration technology
Grant agreement ID: 245288
1 September 2010
31 August 2014
€ 8 165 746,20
€ 5 992 082
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE EN SCIENCES ET TECHNOLOGIES POUR L'ENVIRONNEMENT ET L'AGRICULTURE
This project is featured in...
Final Report Summary - FRISBEE (Food Refrigeration Innovations for Safety, consumer Benefit, Environmental impact and Energy optimization along cold chain in Europe)
The main S&T objective of the FRISBEE project (Food Refrigeration Innovations for Safety, consumers’ Benefit, Environmental impact and Energy optimisation along the cold chain in Europe) is to provide new tools, concepts and solutions for improving refrigeration technologies throughout the European food cold chain.
Refrigeration is one of the more energy consuming technologies in the food cold chain. The aim of the FRISBEE project is to demonstrate how conventional refrigeration technologies can be improved and how alternative technologies can be successfully applied. In all initiatives, the aim is to enhance food quality, reduce energy consumption and the environmental impact whilst at the same time maintaining consumer acceptance of refrigerated foods.
The project developed and combined food quality degradation models, energy models, alternative refrigeration technologies, emerging refrigeration technologies and disruptive technologies to improve refrigeration technologies throughout the European food cold chain. The aim of the FRISBEE project is to enhance food quality and safety, to reduce energy consumption and the environmental impact whilst at the same time maintaining consumer acceptance of refrigerated foods. The consortium considered five types of food products: fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and milk products, in chilled and frozen forms. The research is aimed to bring closer to the industrial end-users alternative solutions and to provide tools for refrigeration technologies and equipment design and optimization used in the food cold chain.
The FRISBEE project studied the entire cold chain from production (primary chilling, freezing), to packaging, handling, storage, transport, retail and household refrigerators. The results provide a better overview of European refrigeration needs and provide new refrigeration technologies for a range of chilled and frozen foods.
Currently, 25-30% of the worldwide food production is wasted due to poor management and in particular poor temperature control. Approximately 60% of the foods we consume need refrigeration at some point in the cold chain. The refrigeration industry has a large economic impact. Worldwide, it is estimated that there are more than 32 million refrigeration plants, more than 300 million m3 of cold storage rooms, 18 000 hypermarkets,322 000 supermarkets (that use more than 30 million display cabinets) and 1 million temperature controlled transport vehicles and 1 billion household refrigerators. Energy used for food refrigeration consumes about 8% of electric power worldwide (1300 TWh) and is responsible for 2.5% of global CO2 emissions.
The FRISBEE project was constructed around 8 work packages: Work package 1 involved management. In work package 2, innovative databases of food product temperatures and current technologies have been created and will enable comparisons to be made between new and current technologies. In work package 3, Quality/ and Energy/Environment Assessment Tools (QEEAT) have been developed to allow the alternative and emerging technologies being worked on to be assessed. n work packages 4 and 5, the team has developed new and emerging refrigeration technologies for representative cold chains selected for applicability to the European food industry. The more promising technologies from work packages 4 and 5 were further developed in work package 6 and demonstrated in work package 7. Work from the project has been widely disseminated in work package 8.
The project involved 26 partners from 12 EU member, associated and candidate countries. Within the consortium, 9 of the partners were companies, 2 were NGOs or represent other companies (mainly SMEs) and the remainder were research based partners. The consortium included 6 SME partners. The international expertise and synergy of the 26 FRISBEE partners allowed the work to be exploited at a European level. Therefore, it is expected that the European food industry, related cold chain stakeholders and consumers will all benefit from the FRISBEE project.
Project Context and Objectives:
A large number of technological and scientific advances were expected from the Frisbee project that advanced the state of the art. Within the Frisbee project the context and the objectives were as follows:
1. Development of a European cold chain database.
One of the main concerns in Europe today is related to the reduction of energy consumption. By 2020, energy consumption has to be reduced by 20% and the use of renewable energies increased. Energy consumption for food refrigeration is estimated at 8% of the total worldwide electricity consumption. To determine the refrigeration energy efficiency of each sector of the food industry we are often concerned by the lack of measured energy data and very limited availability of process throughput data. Retail display is probably the exception where more information is available due to higher levels of energy monitoring. Approximately 50% of the total energy used in food refrigeration is consumed in retail and commercial refrigeration and 50% in chilling, freezing and warehouse storage according to the Market Transformation Program - http://www.mtprog.com Measured data on time/temperature history of food products throughout the cold chain in Europe is also missing. The information collected as part of the cold chain database has allowed us to identify where the weakest links in the cold chain are and where temperature abuse can be found compromising quality and safety of food products. European consumer expectations surveys and sociological studies related to the cold chain are also very rare and almost non-existent. The development of a European cold chain database was the first objective necessary in the Frisbee project to have better knowledge in the following three important areas: (i) the extent to which the cold chain complies to the specifications for optimum food quality and safety of the food products; (ii) the refrigeration technologies which are currently employed in practice all over Europe and how well they perform and deliver the required food quality and safety in an energy efficient and environmentally friendly way and (iii) consumer expectations and concerns in respect to (i) and (ii).
2. Development of novel quality and energy/environment assessment tools.
Quality models Considerable efforts have been made in the last twenty years to develop mathematical models to predict microbial and physicochemical quality attributes of refrigerated foods. Obviously, temperature is one of the most important factors controlling quality. A number of pieces of work to obtain model parameters report quality degradation kinetics including predictive microbiology models (pathogens microorganism growth) under stationary temperature conditions. Likewise, dynamic models for quality attributes such as firmness of selected products under stationary storage conditions have been described in the literature.
For many food products, (fruit vegetables, fish, meat etc), quality models are not available, are not validated for dynamic refrigeration conditions or are not implemented in a user-friendly software environment. In addition, the dependency of quality and microbial kinetics on temperature implies that the temperature distribution inside the food (rather than just on the surface) must be known accurately. Before Frisbee, no such integrated evaluation tool was available or validated for refrigerated foods.
One of the main objectives of Frisbee was to develop QEEAT tools and to demonstrate their potential in a number of applications representing refrigerating of food products in several scenarios in the cold chain. The principles of the tools and concept used were applied at several levels: simulation programs, laboratory pilots and real refrigeration plants and equipment.
Within Frisbee stochastic aspects of the cold chain needed to be taken into account in a realistic model of the cold chain. By combining thermal deterministic and stochastic models and approaches it is then possible to study food process variability. Variability could be due to variance in product biological properties and to uncertain and variable process conditions. Different methods have been proposed to quantify the effects of the uncertainty of model parameters on the output of the studied system. One widely used method is the Monte Carlo, which requires a large number of repetitive simulations to obtain an acceptable level of accuracy.
There have been very few published attempts to take into account stochastic aspects during cold storage., Products are often exposed to uncertain variable environmental conditions such as ambient temperature and temperature can vary considerably within one batch of food. Within the Frisbee project an emphasis was placed on developing methods to predict the evolution and variability of product temperature throughout the cold chain and the associated microbial load and total energy required.
Multi-objective optimization was necessary within Frisbee to identify how to maintain or to improve quality and safety attributes, while identifying how to save energy and costs. This is a frequent problem to solve in the food refrigeration industry (process and storage conditions). A Framework to rationally design refrigeration equipment was provided by mathematical optimization. Usually one must find the best alternatives for several (often conflicting) objectives. Few works in literature are devoted to methodologies for the optimisation of fresh food quality (ripeness, microbial load, product temperature) and logistic cost. It is in general not possible to obtain a single solution that is optimal for all the objectives in this kind of optimization: improving one objective usually means degrading others. Therefore within the Frisbee project there was a need to find the set of solutions that present the best alternatives, the so-called “Pareto optimal” (or multi-objective optimisation). This method has been applied successfully to food industry applications, mostly in a biochemical context, however, prior to Frisbee no tool existed relating both food quality and energy consumption to the performance of refrigerating equipment.
3. Development of advanced predictive control of refrigerating plants and thermal energy storage strategy
Thermal energy storage was considered a strategic technology within Frisbee to anticipate or to delay the use of the refrigeration plant to take account of energy storage when the best conditions (energy cost, external, temperature, weather etc.) were available.
Model predictive control (MPC) allows the future response of the system to be predicted taking into account scenarios such as energy availability and price, weather forecast and provisional load of the production line. Several difficulties exist such as interaction between nonlinear dynamics and discrete events, on/off manipulated variables, continuous controlled variables such as temperatures set points and finally, several operation constraints. Within Frisbee the following merged elements were provided.1) Simplified food product quality models describing the evolution of the food quality versus the ambient conditions (temperature, fluctuation of temperature, atmosphere composition, humidity, …) 2) Energy assessment and optimisation 3) Foreseeable events: such as meteorological data, production peaks. The performance of the refrigeration machine can be optimised taking into account scenarios (e.g.energy availability and price, weather forecast, provisional load of the production line).
Conventionally, controlled atmosphere (CA) storage of apple uses static, fixed set-points that are recommended as optimal storage conditions. As the concentrations are set at safe levels, significant apple firmness loss may still occur. In addition, development of postharvest disorders, even under optimal CA, has been reported. A new RQ-based Dynamic CA (DCA) storage systems was developed that can adapt the atmospheric composition based on the actual physiological state of the fruit and can maintain fruit quality to a greater extent than conventional CA and Ultra low oxygen (ULO) storage facilities. In the Frisbee project, a novel DCA system for cool storage of apple that can be implemented in existing cool rooms at small added cost (as it uses the existing measurement units for CA) was developed. This was able to achieve a significant increase in apple firmness that increased market value and availability of European apple fruit. The developments will lead to a new system of cool room control. The novelty of the approach is that it uses a mathematical model of the gas balance of the entire cool room (rather than well-controlled containers) to estimate the respiratory activity of the fruit combined with advanced control algorithms.
Controllers are able to use wireless sensors as a . low cost method to measure: temperature, relative humidity and O2. Wireless sensors should be integrated with a computer server that runs communication software to run quality and safety predictive models to continuously evaluate refrigerated food quality in the cold chain.
4. Development of emerging new refrigeration technologies it is also importnat for future cold chain improvement. Innovative refrigeration technologies were studied within Frisbee and included:
Nanofluids use engineered colloidal suspensions of nanoparticles (1-100 nm) in a base fluid to enhance heat transfer in conventional refrigeration systems. Large increases in heat transfer coefficients are observed by using only a low concentration of highly conductivity particles (carbon nanotubes). Few publications are available on the application of nanofluids to refrigeration plants. However, the applicability of nanofluids to improve the energy efficiency has not been investigated yet for large industrial, commercial cooling systems, except for a study by the NIST (USA) in which improvements in the heat transfer coefficient of between 50 and 275% were achieved in large industrial trials..
Air cycle refrigeration plant has considerable potential within the food industry. Within Frisbee models of air cycle systems were modified and developed further to include performance data from turbo machinery manufacturers and heat exchanger manufacturers. Novel machinery based on high efficiency reciprocating machines and low tech options based on modified car turbo chargers were investigated. The main application investigated for air cycle was fast freezing (as air cycle can outperform liquid nitrogen and low temperature direct expansion systems in terms of energy consumption and environmental impact) potentially combined with heating of hot water or cooking. New investigations into the use of air cycle for storage and transport (by using waste exhaust gas) were included.
Magnetic refrigeration is a disruptive technology that exploits the magnetocaloric effect (the temperature change observed when certain materials are exposed to a rapidly changing magnetic field) found in for example gadolinium, lanthanum or manganese alloys. As the magnetic moments of the material align in the magnetic field, there is a decrease in entropy, and consequently, the material heats up; when the field is removed, it cools down. The real challenge in magnetic refrigeration is to increase the temperature span of the refrigeration cycle. The typical change in temperature of the magnetocaloric material is between 2ºC-4ºC and this is inadequate for any practical room temperature application. A key innovation within Frisbee has been the creation of a regenerative cooling cycle, which extends the span of a magnetic refrigerator. By using an innovating technique, the span of the basic (and benchmark) refrigerant and the Gadolinium alloys can be extended by almost an order of magnitude from the typical 2.5ºC in a 1T magnetic field to over 20ºC. Optimisation performed on the system allowed a reduction in the mass of refrigerant, and a consequent reduction in the required magnetic field volume and consequently lower cost (field and refrigerant being the two primary cost elements in the technology). High-frequency operation can be achieved by careful regenerator design, using advanced geometries rather than a powdered refrigerant, which allows the rapid flow of exchange fluid and heat. The magnetic refrigeration work within Frisbee constructed a high-efficiency magnetic cooling engine and quantified how efficiently the technology delivers cooling when embedded inside a domestic refrigerator.
Superchilling and supercooling. Both technologies have great potential to enable safe, high quality and long term storage of foods without the consumer perceived detrimental effects of freezing. Energy and environmental benefits are also achieved due to reduced heat loads and higher storage temperatures. During superchilling and supercooling factors such as retention period and temperature are of great importance to achieve the defined ice-level (superchilling) or temperature without freezing (supercooling) in the final product. The degree of superchilling that will improve the shelf life sufficiently whilst fulfilling the demands regarding process ability and quality attributes were determined for the set product groups. Efficient and flexible superchilling processes that preserve premium product quality were designed and basic data for calculation of chilling time and temperature and refrigeration load found. Studies of the characteristics of the ice crystals created during superchilling and superchilled storage will contribute to a better scientific basis for evaluation of methods for chilling and comparison between technologies. Efficient technical tools for measuring the amount and distribution of ice inside the product on-line were also investigated.
PCM composite nano-structured packaging were developed within Frisbee. There has been little work on the development of composite nano-structured phase change material to be able to be used in packaging to prevent unwanted temperature abuse of perishable food. Nano-structured new materials comprising nano-size -structured calcium silicate with its very high liquid absorbency provided an attractive cost effective solution to the problem. Typically, 300–400 wt% PCM can be accommodated in the highly porous matrix. Above the melting point the liquid PCM phase is contained in the pores with the overall NCS–PCM composite remaining as a white powdery solid. Within Frisbee these materials were incorporated into packaging materials to provide thermal storage capacity. The materials were tailored to obtain suitable melting temperatures for thermal storage of foods using PCM composite nano-structures. This was followed by experimental characterization of nano-structured material (melting points, fusion enthalpies, diffusion to the packaging material) and experimental characterization of packaging thermal properties (time temperature profiles exposed to different times). Thermal modelling was also used to enhance the above tasks.
FRISBEE have developed technological solutions by providing advanced technologies and emerging technologies including disruptive technologies for food refrigeration throughout the entire cold chain for chilled, superchilled and frozen foods. These technologies are aimed at improving food quality, consumer acceptance, and efficient use of energy and reduction of environmental impact.
The following objectives were targeted:
1. Assessment of the cold chain performance and the consumer expectations in Europe in WP2.
2. Development of evaluation to assess and improve existing refrigeration and emerging new technologies and concepts in WP3.
3.Reduction in energy consumption of existing technologies by using thermal storage technologies and advanced controllers in WP4.
4. Assessment of emerging refrigeration technologies at laboratory- scale pilot equipment in WP5
5. Development of industrial case studies for the more promising refrigeration technologies (WP6).
6 Demonstration (WP7) and Dissemination (WP8) of results from pilot equipment, demonstrators, software, sensors and databases, for many food products throughout the refrigerated and frozen cold chains.
WP2. One of the objectives of WP2 was to develop a user friendly database gathering real cold chain data (time and temperature) from the cold chain in Europe. The Cold Chain Database was launched during the first year of the project. Since then the Cold Chain Database has been growing due to focused efforts of the project consortium members to contribute own cold chain data and invite potential data contributors to take part in this big effort. Data from the industry and cold chain parties (distributors, retailers), from associations and research projects were extensively collected. A powerful web-based platform (hosted in the link http://www.frisbee-project.eu/coldchaindb.html) was built for data collection. This platform consists of a menu driven web-based software retrieving information (information such as type of food product, recommended storage conditions, stage of the cold chain, geographical and seasonal information etc. are requested) to accompany the contributed food product time-temperature data. The data input process was in continuous progress during the whole Project duration; the Database was expanded and updated until the end of the FRISBEE project as it was foreseen in the DoW. The continuing evolution and enrichment of the Database can be quantitatively assessed based on the following numbers: At the end of the project (August 2014) approximately 14.000 t-T profiles had been contributed and evaluated in the Cold Chain Database, approximately 9100 more than the profiles contributed when the Deliverable 2.1.1 was submitted and 8700 more than the contributed profiles at the time when the 1st Periodic Report was submitted. More than 175 users (mainly from Industry and Academia) have created an account either for contributing data or just visiting and exploring the database. According to the midterm review evaluation and suggestions, efforts were focused in collecting more data from Eastern European countries and more data on frozen food products. During the last semester, cold chain data referring to frozen food products were significantly increased to more than 33% of data found in the database. While, a significant number of cold chain data regarding freezing operation plants and frozen retail display in Hungary and Czech Republic were collected. The collected data were organized and processed in such a way to be accessible for the members of the FRISBEE consortium, the data providers and ultimately European researchers, regulators, and industry.
Review on the state-of-the-art of traceability methods
WP2 has performed a review on the state-of-the-art of traceability methods. A systematic review of tools and methods used to monitor temperature conditions and assure traceability of the food supply chain was performed. Methods explored consisted of temperature logging, transmission systems like Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology, intelligent packaging, Time-temperature indicators (TTIs) and Radio Frequency- Time-temperature indicators (RF-TTIs). The literature review showed the necessity for continuous monitoring of the temperature history of food products along the cold chain. Lots of systems have been used for monitoring the cold chain, depending on the food product, the storage conditions, the shelf-life of the product and the cost of the systems. It was recognised that the combined use of TTIs and RFIDs is one of the most promising technologies to be applied in the near future for optimum management of all stages of the cold chain.With the aim to develop a tool to predict the time-temperature profile for specific food products along the cold chain an application was embedded in the already available Cold Chain Database (www.frisbee-project.eu/coldchaindb). The application named: “Build Cold Chain” can be found online in the following link: http://frisbee-wp2.chemeng.ntua.gr/coldchaindb/main.php?page=105. The specific application is designed to be used in conjunction with the developed Cold Chain Predictor software. The specific (stand-alone) software uses as input real time-temperature profiles retrieved from the Cold Chain Database, through the “Build Cold Chain” application, and “builds” a representative time-temperature profile through Monte Carlo simulation. The software also incorporates available quality and shelf life kinetic data (from published peer reviewed articles in scientific journals) allowing the prediction of specific food products quality status, in terms of remaining shelf life, at different stages of the cold chain. The “Build Cold Chain” application along with Cold Chain Predictor (v2.1.) software is online available to all Cold Chain Database registered users.
Field tests were designed and performed for selected chilled meat products in Greece, France, Hungary and Netherlands and chilled/frozen milk products in the UK. All retrieved temperature profiles from the conducted field tests were screened, the successive cold chain stages involved were recognized according to logistics information provided by the collaborating food producers and retailers. Field tests’ temperature profiles have been uploaded to the Cold Chain Database where they can be easily retrieved by the Cold Chain Database registered users. A typical retrieved time-temperature profile is depicted in Fig. 2. The overall results of the conducted field tests can serve as reference cold chain conditions in Europe. According to the recorded temperature profiles the mean temperature of the complete cold chain of meat products in Europe ranged between 3.5 to 5°C with no significant differences for the different European countries. Sharp fluctuations of temperature reaching 10-15°C were only observed at the stage of the (non refrigerated) transportation by the consumers for short times; from s few minutes to a maximum of 2 hours.
Furthermore, a validation test was performed for two representative cold chain time-temperature profiles (built based on the tools developed in Task 2.1.3) where the quality and remaining shelf life of a selected meat product at different stages of the cold chain as recorded through the conducted field tests was evaluated . Vacuum packed cooked ham samples were stored in the simulated time-temperature laboratory incubators. At predetermined times, simulated to correspond to different stages of the cold chain, sampling was performed to measure the microbial growth of lactic acid bacteria. The microbial growth was compared to the estimated growth based on the software “FRISBEE tool” developed in Task 3.2. The validation test results confirmed that the predictive tools based on the Cold Chain database can serve as effective and reliable tools to predict the remaining shelf life of vacuum packed cooked ham slices throughout the cold chain.
Identification of refrigeration needs and available technologies in the food industry
-Compilation of data on industrial refrigeration needs
A study of the needs of end users in the food refrigeration industry was carried out. Work consisted of a web based survey (in total responses from 137 participants), an in depth consultation with end users and a review of published information on issues of importance to end users. Through the above investigations a number of issues were identified; costs, energy, refrigerants, food wastage, training and new technologies. Cost of operate plant was often not taken into account while initial cost was a priority. Most refrigerant plant was relatively old and there were few plans to replace/refurbish plant while life cycle costs were ignored. Energy usage was generally less than 100,000 MWh/year and about one third of refrigeration systems did not have energy monitoring equipment. It was recognized that plants used a large proportion of their energy for refrigeration. Even though end users were concerned about refrigerants being banned they still had R22 in refrigeration plant and a small number (4%) still had CFC in their plant. Most end users were operating plant on the commonly used refrigerants; R717, R22, R134a or R404A. Refrigeration knowledge was classed as ‘medium’ in most companies, having mixed or no confidence in installing new technologies. End users wanted more information to make a selection on the refrigeration technology applied in the plant, easier. Generally greater and unbiased information was needed. There was a lack of emphasis on training and quality. End users used cheap contractors who gave poor quality advice and workmanship. They all had concerns about the environment and carbon emissions but were constrained by financial issues that prevented them from making changes.
-Assessment of potential improvement in current refrigeration technologies
A summary of the technologies examined in this task was reported and their application area was studied. The application of each technology to the products considered within FRISBEE was evaluated in detail. Throughout the report options to reduce energy consumption, reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses and improve temperature control of current refrigeration processes were proposed.
-Prospective study on novel refrigeration technologies
In this task options to reduce energy consumption, reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses while improving temperature control using novel future refrigeration technologies were examined. A report was developed both for refrigeration technologies that are in their own rights as well as for technologies that are product oriented. A summary of the technologies examined in the report and their future potential is presented in
Study of consumer needs and expectations from the food cold chain
-National legal and ethical requirements for the surveys were obtained
Required authorisation was obtained for the countries involved in the consumer study: France, UK, Spain, and Germany. The legal authorities that were contacted confirmed that an authorization is required only if a database includes personal data such as name, address, phone number, email address, etc. However this kind of data was not asked in the sociological studies like the one performed within FRISBEE.
-Development on consumers’ expectations data
Questionnaires and material for studies of consumer perspectives and attitudes towards refrigerated foods, cold chain and relevant technologies were prepared before further used in the consumer survey conducted within Subtask 2.3.3. The developed sociological questionnaire included 209 questions for 235 different variables. The main topics were concerning: sociological identification, food management in the different households, food supply frequencies and sources, choosing fresh/cold products, handling of fresh/cold/frozen products, transporting food, safety and expiration date, the best before date question, food stocking, knowledge about domestic refrigeration equipment. The finalized questionnaire was translated in French, Spanish, English and German.
-Survey of consumer perspectives
A diversified population of about thirty people in each country were selected, in order to perform semi-direct interviews with them and proceed to a certain number of observations considering their households. The consumers were quite confident regarding the cold chain. The survey has especially shown that most of the recommendations regarding food safety are well known, followed and are well assimilated, perhaps too much. The confidence in recommendations and expiry dates leads the consumers to throw away food products even if they can be safely consumed by the time they have reached their nominal expiration or best before date. On one hand very similar practices in four Western European countries involved in the study (Romania is an historical and very interesting exception) were observed, on the other hand regional sensitization regarding the perception of food (i.e. Germany) was observed. The study of consumer perspectives and attitudes towards refrigerated foods, the cold chain and relevant refrigeration technologies contributes to recognize the consumer contribution and important role on the last stage of the cold chain; food storage at the domestic refrigerator. One of the most important results is the fact that consumers tend to consider their fridge like a magical board as they tend to ignore basic technological aspects of household refrigeration equipment. The lack of information on innovative refrigeration technologies was pointed out by consumers, showing the need for better ways to communicate by publishing papers devoted to large audience (i.e. "La Recherche" in France for example).
-Integration of information and construction of frame of reference
All valuable gathered information and data collected were integrated and interpreted. The outcome was communicated to the consortium so that the integrated results can serve as valuable input for related WPs; WP3, WP5, WP6 and WP7.
WP3: The main S&T results/foreground of Work Package 3 can be subdivided in two major parts. On one hand, research has led to the FRISBEE Tool, which is a software optimizing the trade-off between food quality, energy use, and global warming impact of cold chains. On the other hand, a wireless temperature sensor network has been developed and thoroughly put to test (Technology Readiness Level or TRL 6).
The FRISBEE Tool – will be freely downloadable from http://www.frisbee-project.eu/
As a first step in developing the FRISBEE tool, reference products were chosen for five main food categories (fruit, meat, fish, milk products, and vegetables), and for each of these reference products, the most important time-temperature dependent quality indicators were identified. Furthermore, for each product, a reference cold chain was defined. The reference cold chains were defined based on the most common practices in Europe, and serve as a bench mark for comparing other chains. This was done by identifying the different steps (the so-called “cold chain blocks”) that a food goes through along the cold chain. Also, process variables (set point temperature, relative humidity, etc.) and the properties of the refrigerating equipment (e.g. refrigerant type, evaporator type, compressor’s efficiency, and evaporating temperature of refrigerant) in each block of the reference cold chain were defined. In addition, the product properties (e.g. dimensions, thermophysical properties, packaging properties), and residence time of the food in each cold chain block were defined. The reference cold chains were defined based on extensive literature studies and in consultation with experts in different fields of the cold chain. Subsequently, kinetic models for assessing food quality evolution along the cold chain as a function of prevailing time-temperature combinations were developed and validated for each of the selected quality indicators.
In a second step, models for energy use calculations were considered. Most commonly used refrigerating equipment is based on vapour compression cycles, using evaporation as an endothermic process. The energy use model implemented in the FRISBEE tool is based on heat balance models, taking into account the refrigerant used, the temperature sources, some data quantifying the efficiencies of the main components (heat exchangers, compressors etc.) and the type of refrigeration cycle. Models used to calculate the thermodynamic properties of refrigerants are based on state equations. Since calculations are desired to be fast, curve fitted equations are used with a reasonable accuracy. By calculating enthalpies of the refrigerant in its different states during the vapour compression cycle, the coefficient of performance (COP) of refrigeration systems are estimated. The energy consumption of a refrigeration system is then deduced from the COP value and the total heat load. The total heat load is the sum of the heat loads from the process (energy needed to cool or freeze product to the desired conservation temperature), transmission losses through walls, heat input by door openings, fork lifts, and lighting etc. The total energy consumption of refrigerating equipment also includes additional power consumptions, by fans, floor heating, defrosting and lighting. Additionally, the impact of Vacuum Insulation Panels (VIPs) on energy consumption of refrigeration equipment was modelled by incorporating the effect of VIPs on the conductive heat transfer coefficients of wall insulation.
In a third step, the total equivalent warming impact (TEWI ) has been selected as it is the most commonly used concept for estimating the global warming impact of greenhouse gases for refrigeration processes. The TEWI is the sum of direct emissions of refrigerant and indirect emissions resulting from combustion of fossil fuels to generate power.
Software codes were written for all the different components of the design, using the programing language Matlab (Matlab R2012a, The Mathworks Inc., Natick, USA). The application was tested by executing predefined scenarios with expected results (“use case”). Findings were sent back to coding for corrections followed by a new test round. Since traceability is an important issue, the testing was amply documented.
The final FRISBEE tool is a software that can be used by various stakeholders of the food cold chain, including consumers, food retailers, food logistics companies, and manufacturers of refrigeration equipment, to evaluate their cold chains by assessing the impact of process variables (for example set point temperatures, fan power, and cold chain duration) and technology selection on the final quality of the refrigerated product, the energy consumption and global warming impact of refrigeration equipment. Furthermore, the tool includes the possibility to assess the effects of randomness (i) in the cold chain temperatures and (ii) in initial food product quality through dedicated Monte Carlo simulations, global sensitivity analysis and a novel accept-and-reject algorithm (linked to food product acceptability by the consumer). Lastly, the tool also allows multi-objective optimization of the different cold chain steps, looking at different objectives (within the quality indicators, energy use and global warming impact) and an objective technology selection algorithm.
The tool will be freely downloadable via a link on the FRISBEE website, referring to www.frisbee-project.eu. An associated Quick User Guide and an extensive user manual have already been developed.
-A wireless temperature sensor network
A Wireless Sensor Network system has been realized and prototyped. The validation tests performed confirm that the prototype can be the basis for a mass production item, carrying out many different product configurations and related costs and markets. From a marketing search, the expected price of the system is considered competitive with other products available the expected price being below 100 euros per unit node in mass production.
The WSN also has the capability to be connected to a special network coordinator system which provides collection of data and Web interface compliant with Internet and its newer versions. In particular the system is compliant with the new IPv6 protocol which realizes, in connection with the distributed control system described in D.18.104.22.168 what is usually known as the “Internet of Things”. Hence, the WSN realized is a sensor that fits the needs of the cold chain tracking and specifications.
A successful test was performed at the SPES facilities, simulating a worst-case scenario (embedding tougher conditions than what has been found in Neuenkirchen, EUROFRESH LOGISTICS GMBH, Neuenkirchen-Vörden, Germany, during the tests in the second period). The test proofs the capabilities of the new version of prototypes ready for final deployment on the field for demonstration activities.
The final results were demonstrated during the FRISBEE demonstration day at the Antony facilities of the FRISBEE coordinator on August 29, 2014. It was shown that a unique universal IPv6 address can be assigned to each measurement acquired by a sensor node. Further, when it roams from one network to another its identifiers are maintained. It can be maintained throughout every network worldwide. Moreover the network coordinators (the centre of each WSN with a radius of 2-3 hundred meters) act as gateway to a remote distributed FRISBEE server. It was shown that by accessing the control Web page, the sensor could be traced dynamically during their handoffs through the two networks set up for the demonstration.
WP4: Thermal energy storage technology was at the core of WP4. A first step in this WP was to identify all the available materials for the cold chain. The materials available for energy storage in food cold chain applications range from -60°C to 6°C and have been listed (Deliverable 22.214.171.124) with their thermophysical properties. A software tool to evaluate thermophysical properties of a large number of salt hydrates and water alcohol solutions has been provided. It has been identified that the PCM already available cover all the required phase change temperatures in the reference cold chains (as listed in Deliverable D3.1.1).
One of the most promising and innovative technologies developed in WP4 aims to reduce and control capsule morphology of PCM to the nanoscale (with dimensions between 1 and 300 nm) and to incorporate them directly in walls of equipment or food packaging. The results show that PCM’s can be successfully micro, submicro and nanoencapsulated inside different polymeric matrixes (Deliverable 126.96.36.199.1).
A method for nanoencapsulation of PCMs into polymer such as the ones used for walls in refrigeration systems has been developed and patented (patent application number ES_201131063); PCMs were encapsulated in different polymeric matrices by means of an electrospinning pilot plant system equipped with a variable high voltage (0-30 kV) power supply. The final materials had a phase change enthalpy from 50 to 70 kJ/kg, and various phase change temperatures depending on the PCM used.
Development of predictive controllers
Thermal inertia resulting from the thermal energy storage technology implies a strategy to define the best moment to store energy and the best moment to use it. This is an opportunity to use this capacity to improve the daily performance of the refrigerating systems. To achieve this objective, a predictive controller has been developed (deliverable 4.3.1) and evaluated by simulation.
Based on MPC control approach, this advanced controller concept for cold chain applications has been developed through the successive tasks of the workpackage 4. The main characteristics of this controller are:
• An optimal control strategy computed periodically based on the measured state and a predictive model of the system (MPC approach)
• The possibility to take advantage of heat storage capacities and weather forecast
• The possibility to use the cold chain models initially developed for the QEEAT tool
• Its integration in a low cost hardware unit
A prototype of an embedded unit for the controller, based on a general purpose controller for industrial automation, has been designed by SPES, a partner of the project. This unit has powerful capabilities for local and remote control, communication capabilities to sensors and actuators by industrial fieldbus in many protocols, a mass storage unit, a web server and a graphical display on board. A specific software infrastructure has been designed for this embedded unit, including a general operating system, a database server and client, with replication mechanisms, check and backup, networking and communication units, and acquisition and control engines.
-Experimental validation of the proposed solutions
The potential of using PCMs in retail display cabinets and domestic refrigerator has been investigated. Through measurements and modelling, PCMs have been shown to have no measurable effect in damping air temperature rise during defrost for display cabinets, but the results with PCM in domestic refrigerators were much more promising.
An experimental validation on two categories of domestic refrigerators has confirmed what was first identified by simulation: a PCM slab applied on the evaporator of a household refrigerator increases its thermal inertia, improves the heat transfer through the evaporator and results in an increased evaporation temperature. A significant decrease of running time of the compressor, a reduction between 5 and 10% of the energy consumption, a better homogeneity on the temperature distribution through top to bottom have been obtained by adding a PCM in contact with the evaporator of the device.
Even if the impact is more important on the compartment refrigerator, a positive impact has been also shown experimentally in the freezer compartment. The final tests have been performed on a double compartment – double refrigerating system household refrigerator.
An experimental validation (Deliverable 6.4.2) has been performed in a frozen meat storage warehouse. This evaluation in a real site showed that the implementation of such a controller is feasible for an existing system and can be combined with an existing controller. The test was relatively transparent for the staff working in the warehouse. The constraints due to the compressor technology didn’t allow a significant evaluation of the energy performance, but the energy savings potential when the controller was running, based on daily simulations, was evaluated at between 5 to 10%.
To reduce the temperature variations of a sensitive product such as ice cream during long term storage, a low diffusivity material can be used as a protective panel around the containers. Through experiments with ice cream and measurements on ice crystal size, a PCM cover has been shown as a very efficient thermal protection device for long term storage and transportation. The main advantage of using a PCM for thermal protection compared to an insulation material is the small thickness necessary to get the same damping effect compared to the insulation material.
WP5 has studied emerging technology such as superchilling. Superchilling is the process of partial freezing a food so that only a small proportion of the water content is in the form of ice. Superchilled food is still considered as a fresh product when stored above
-1.2°C, which the foods would be in order to maintain the low ice fraction contents associated with superchilling.
Within Frisbee, two processes were investigated: a rapid chilling (cryogenic) method to rapidly remove heat from meat primals and a vascular perfusion system that distributed cold fluid within the vascular system of the carcass. The latter method has potential benefits as a meat carcass has a very large surface area and chilling the deep muscle tissues using a conventional air chilling system is inefficient and time consuming.
Rapid superchilling was investigated using an impingement freezer that was used to crust freeze pork primals and salmon sides. The pork and salmon were then allowed to equalise in temperature to achieve an ice fraction of 10-30%. Food quality and safety was investigated. Based on microbiological quality superchilled salmon could be stored for approximately 15-17 days compared to 8-10 days for the chilled references. There were no significant difference in microbiological shelf-life due to the degree of superchilling. For pork, the maximum storage of superchilled product was approximately 23 days compared to approximately 13 days for samples stored at +4ºC. The colour of superchilled products was either superior or the same as chilled control samples. Water holding capacity of the superchilled samples was slightly less than chilled control samples.
The use of vascular perfusion in pork carcasses was found to be challenging. The procedure had previously been found to be suitable for chilling of lamb carcasses and has been used to assist blood drainage in beef carcasses. In pork carcasses perfusion was attempted via the vascular system and via the intestinal tract. In either cases the arteries/veins or intestinal tract was found to rupture. Trials were carried out using different injection points, varied fluid perfusate temperatures and flow rates and trials were carried out at various stages post slaughter. In all cases only limited perfusate distribution was achieved and therefore it was concluded that vascular perfusion was not a suitable technique for pork carcasses.
Another emerging technology based of food process was supercooling. Supercooling is the process of taking a product (in this case food) below its normal freezing point but without ice nucleation occurring. Some products have the ability to supercool to temperatures greatly below their initial freezing point (e.g. garlic has been shown to supercool to -13°C).
Trials were carried out to supercool pork meat using an air or immersion process. In addition the use of cryoprotectants was reviewed as an alternative methodology. In both air and immersion cooling trials supercooling could consistently be achieved if the average fluid temperature was above -3°C. This was the case in the immersion trials where the fluid temperature was well controlled and the air cooling trials where the air temperature had a greater level of fluctuation. In the immersion trials the temperature at which supercooling could be achieved was marginally lower than in the air cooling trials (lower by 0.3°C) and this was thought to be due to the tighter temperature control.
The meat quality measurements conducted showed that the supercooling techniques used had few deleterious effects on the product. The supercooling process greatly reduced the level of bacterial contamination, increasing shelf life by at least 60%. Vibration of samples sometimes caused the product to begin ice nucleation and therefore the product become a superchilled rather than supercooled product. Therefore it was concluded that supercooling was more suited to production and storage environments where movement and vibration of products was less.
Thermal variations during storage and distribution of food can potentially be stabilised by incorporating phase change materials (PCMs) into packaging and biopackaging matrices. PCMs are able to absorb and release a large amount of latent heat during their phase transition process over a narrow temperature range and, as a consequence, they are able to buffer the thermal variations of the environment and, they can provide thermal protection to the packaged food.
In this task the inclusion of nanoparticles into food packaging was studied. Electrospinning technology was used to encapsulate PCMs, reduce their drop size and to control the morphology to a submicron scale. This technique uses high voltage electric fields to produce electrically charged jets from viscoelastic polymer solutions which on drying, by the evaporation of the solvent, produce ultrathin polymeric.
The packaging was developed for 3 temperature levels (chilled, superchilled/cooled and frozen). The selected PCMs which satisfied these temperatures required were Rubitherm RT5 for 5ºC (chilled), palmitoleic acid for -1.5ºC (superchilled/cooled) and dodecyne for -18ºC (frozen). Polystyrene (PS) and polylactic acid (PLA) were selected among other polymers as the shell materials. Based on screening studies on the electrospinning of the polymers selected, the PLA:RT5 mass percentage was 80:20, while the PS:RT5 mass percentage was 55:45. It was observed that for both encapsulated structures, the melting of the PCM produced a double peak. This thermal behaviour could be due to the formation of two different kinds of crystals and may be eliminated by addition of nucleating agents. The optimized microencapsulated PCMs were also incorporated into packaging (PCL, PS, LDPE, EVA) and biopackaging (PLA, PHB) materials by means of the melt compounding technology or the casting methodology.
-Air cycle refrigeration
Air cycle refrigeration offers an environmental alternative to existing refrigeration systems in use in the food cold chain. Air cycle compares most favourably with existing low temperature applications, particularly where there is an associated need for heating which can be served by the relatively high-temperature heat rejected from the air cycle system.
Within Frisbee existing mathematical models of air cycle combined heating and cooling systems for cooling at chilled, frozen and very low temperatures were developed. This enabled the potential of optimized and matched components rather than existing non-ideal components to be investigated. Literature and commercial product searches were undertaken to evaluate the performance of components suitable for use in air cycle systems. A comprehensive mathematical model written in Microsoft Visual Basic was revised to include the best of these components. The model was used to evaluate temperature and energy performance for applications ranging in temperature from chilled to frozen to very low temperature. The costs of available systems and components were assessed.
The model allowed comparison of temperature performance, energy consumption and environmental impact of air cycle systems with those of competitor systems such as vapour compression refrigeration and liquid nitrogen freezing. For warmer applications such as chilling or frozen storage (-18˚C) the efficiency and availability of vapour compression systems make air cycle uncompetitive on grounds of both carbon dioxide emissions and operating costs. However, for applications in the low (-80˚C) and very low (-120˚C) temperature ranges which are currently served by cascade refrigeration systems and total loss refrigerants, air cycle is competitive – particularly where use can be made of the relatively high temperature heat produced by air compression. A design guide and recommendations for further commercialization was produced.
-Magneto caloric refrigeration
Magnetic refrigeration is a gas free and potentially energy efficient alternative technology to the gas compressor. The technology works by cycling special metal alloys (which reversibly change temperature when exposed to a magnetic field) into and out of a magnetic field. The magnetic refrigeration cycle uses no toxic, environmentally harmful or potentially explosive gases, operates at low pressure, and uses water (or water-glycol) as a heat transport medium.
Within the Frisbee project magnetic refrigeration components were modelled in Comsol. The model enabled all losses to be identified at an individual level, as a function of all geometrical and physical parameters, both spatially and temporally. Components (blade regenerators, magnet, pumping system and heat exchange system for cabinet interfacing) were designed and integrated. The integration of the components was demonstrated.
Nanoparticles in refrigeration systems
One method to improve the performance of refrigeration systems is to enhance heat transfer. Including nanoparticles in the fluid to form a “nanofluid” is one method to achieve this. Within Frisbee work was carried out to identify existing studies on nanofluids, to examine the properties of the fluid, especially in terms of heat transfer and to simulate and validate the influence of the nanoparticles on the refrigerating plant overall energy efficiency.
Work showed that heat transfer coefficients significantly increased with the increase of nanoparticles (NPs) concentration for laminar and turbulent flow regimes. However, the pressure drop which is directly related to the pumping power also increased with the increase of nanoparticles concentration whatever the flow regime. The compromise between the gain in thermal transfer and the energetic loss by the setting in motion of the fluid carrier by means of a pump was evaluated through the Performance Evaluation Criterion (PEC). Calculation of PEC has shown that the energetic performance is strongly dependent on the type of NPs: some of the studied nanofluids (Al2O3, TiO2, SiO2) were clearly less efficient than the base fluid while the others (Co, Fe, CuO) had a favourable energetic performance with PEC values reaching 80%. This work confirmed the potential of nanofluids to intensify heat transfer when they are used in heat exchangers and also showed the great potential of nanofluids to improve refrigeration efficiency when they are used in refrigeration plant.
Within the project it was identified that many questions remain unanswered regarding the safety of nanoparticles. Recommendations for the use of nanofluids in refrigeration plants were created. At this time, it is crucial that effective rules should be quickly put in place to regulate nanotechnology. Advancing knowledge in nanotoxicology seems to be necessary so that nanotechnology can develop in a sustainable way and safely.
-Vacuum insulated panels
Vacuum Insulated Panels (VIPs) offer greatly improved thermal insulation compared to existing insulation. Within Frisbee work was carried out to assess the potential for VIPs in cold chain work was carried out to assess the application and potential benefits of VIPs throughout the cold chain. Mathematical models (steady state heat balance) were developed to assess potential savings in energy and impact of application of VIPs in each application.
VIPs have considerable potential but that the method of application can have a large impact on performance. Theoretically thermal conductivities are at least 5 times better than PU (PU approximately 0.022 W/mK, VIPs approximately 0.005 W/mK) but in reality this is not the case due to edge effects. A FE (Finite Element) model was used to assess the impact of edge effects and to assess how VIPs were applied. It was found that if VIPs were embedded into PU foamed walls that they could yield 86% of the expected benefit (assuming manufacturers’ thermal conductivity data); the remaining 14% being equivalent to ~2 mW/m.K variation in thermal conductivity of the PU and VIP. VIPs were modelled in the PU foamed walls of a range of appliances (domestic refrigerator-freezer, commercial service refrigerator, commercial service freezer, retail display chest freezer) to reduce energy consumption in the cold chain. Economic feasibility for each appliance was determined based on current VIP prices.
It was found that only the thinnest panels of the commercial service freezer offered payback durations of less than three years; the insulation of typical refrigeration appliances is generally well optimised with PU foam insulation. Where low temperature (freezer) cabinets have thinner than desirable insulation VIP would offer a benefit. Walls of at least 60 mm resulted in paybacks of >3 years whereas walls of 40 mm resulted in paybacks of <3 years. However, of the appliances evaluated there was no obvious reason why a thicker PU foam insulated wall could not have been used in place of the current 40 mm wall.
-Quality and energy use of superchilling and supercooling technologies
The energy consumption results for salmon and pork cold chains were evaluated. The results follow expected trends, with chilled chains using the least energy, supercooled chains using marginally more energy due to slightly lower temperatures, superchilled chains using slightly more energy due to part-freezing and extended shelf-life, and frozen chains using by far the most energy due to more complete freezing and long storage lives during distribution and domestic storage.
-Safety and quality impact of emerging technologies
The impact of the emerging technologies on food safety and quality was examined. All technologies were found to either enhance or to have no negative impact on food safety and quality.
-Consumer acceptability of emerging technologies
Social networks groups work was performed to know what was the consumer acceptability of emerging technologies. Consumers were found to have little knowledge of emerging technologies. They either showed little interest in them (although they did appreciate gadgets and technologies that improved food safety) or feared that the technologies might be a danger. Most consumers tended to appreciate gadgets and ‘little’ technologies. The most important aspect of refrigeration in the home was that it produces ‘cold’. The way this is achieved was not important to consumers. It was therefore concluded that it is possibly better to promote smart fridges and secure food to consumers and not to mention specifics of a technology
WP6. The following results have been achieved in WP6 to develop and showcase a number of decisive technological contributions to the development of the most suitable refrigeration technologies for the future:
• Advanced temperature control by PCM, smart control and advanced packaging for supercooling and superchilling of pork and salmon.
Supercooling and superchilling of pork and salmon requires precise and exact temperature control of the product. Once the product is supercooled/-chilled, temperature fluctuation must be avoided.
In order to fulfil the temperature requirements, PCMs will be necessary during transportation and storage of the supercooled/-chilled products. The PCM can either be applied as an advanced packaging material or in the sidewalls of the storage unit/container, or in the consumer packages.
Results with the prototypes constructed show that this is promising and gives higher temperature stability, and prevents rapid temperature increase of the products. For a superchilled product, the PCMs give an opportunity to prevent the desirable ice inside the products melting. Special care must be taken in order to avoid nucleation in the supercooled product.
• Apple storage with advanced control DCA.
Validating the model and controller of DCA using storage experiments shows that with accurate control of the RQ-DCA unit and carefully selected fruit (container experiments) significant improvements in firmness preservation can be attained. The method performs better than conventional ULO and is at least comparable to other storage DCA methods, such as based on chlorophyll fluorescence measurements. In pilot scale cool rooms, with a mix of fruit from different growers and more effects of air leaks, the RQ-DCA protocol did not show significant improvements yet. This indicates that care should be taken to perform DCA on more uniform batches of fruit and in premium cool rooms that have a high level of air tightness and gas supply control. RQ-DCA can be applied in commercial cool rooms.
• Temperature stabilisation in frozen food chains.
Based on a model developed using thermal energy storage it appears that the best solutions for temperature stabilisation (and therefore product quality enhancement) are the “Post-evaporator PCM heat exchanger”, the “External PCM Storage tank” and “PCM in product packaging solutions”. Among them, the “Packaging” solution brings no additional energy consumption. This last was tested showing that the product is protected in terms of ice crystal growth
• Non-invasive food ice fraction online sensor prototype.
Research on the determination of ice fractions in salmon fillets has shown that it is difficult to obtain consistent results, probably due to rapid temperature increase on the food surface.
In principle, both NIR (Near infra-red spectroscopy) and NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) can be regarded as alternatives to calorimetry for determining ice fractions in food.
However, if rapid methods suitable for on-line measurements are needed the choices are considerably narrowed down. Presently, only the QMonitor scanner (QVision AS, Norway) can successfully perform on-line measurements of ice fractions. But the instrument is rather expensive, particularly in cases where only the ice fraction itself is of interest to the user. If a simplified, cheaper instrument is required, the QPoint (QVision AS), or particularly the Point Measuring System (prototype), might be further developed to accommodate for measurement of ice fractions, either as a handheld instrument, or placed above the product on the conveyor belt. Traditional NMR instruments may be used at-line for the current purpose. Analysis can then be carried out in temperature-controlled magnets. In addition, adequate sampling protocols and techniques would be a prerequisite for accurate analysis. In practice, however, this NMR method it is hardly realistic due to the large, expensive NMR systems needed for the purpose. The considerably cheaper bench top low-field NMR instruments, equipped with a temperature controlled magnet, can be considered a more realistic alternative for at-line use, but in this case, sample size is restricted by the comparatively small diameter of the NMR tubes. Furthermore, for most foods, the analysis would not be non-destructive since subsamples would have to be cut from the food product. In theory, this limitation of low-field NMR can be circumvented by using a handheld mobile magnet connected to the low-field system. In this case there would be no limitation to sample size in practice since the measurement is done on the food surface.
• Superchilling/supercooling optimization with WINtix based simulation programme.
A validated description of the ice crystal size modelling is created in the WINtix simulation program to various salmon and pork freezing processes.
The crystallization modelling in WINtix provides satisfactory results, which are quite in agreement with tendencies known from literature. Especially in the calculation of processes such as the freezing or superchilling of salmon fillet and pork neck cutlet, the results are useful.
The original WINtix calculation core dates back to the 1970’s, and has originally been written in the FORTRAN 77 programming language. The current version of the calculation core in WINtix 3.3 has been developed using Compaq Visual Fortran, Professional Edition 6.6.0. The core is now implemented as a DLL – it has no user interface of itself, nor any file I/O, all inputs and outputs are handled by DLL-calls. The WINtix user interface in WINtix 3.3 is written in Microsoft Visual Basic Version 6.0 for 32-bit Windows development. For presentation of graphs and drawings, extensive use of made of a graphic OCX component: Tee Chart Pro (version 5.3). The WINtix database containing physical properties of foodstuffs is accessed from the WINtix user interface, but can also be externally accessed with Microsoft Access software or similar. A user manual is available with the program. All information contained in the user annual is also accessible from within the program itself, through the program’s help function (F1). WINtix 3.3 has been developed for Windows XP and older versions of Windows. In newer versions of Windows, such as Windows 7 and Windows 8, not all functionality is fully available. An example is the help function that will only work in Windows 7 or windows 8 after installing conversion software. Nevertheless, the simulations are executed without problems. Under Windows 7, the option exists to run WINtix in XP mode.
The WINtix program and it’s components are distributed and can be installed through an installer for Windows programs (created with Inno Setup compiler version 5.4.2).
• Control algorithm for cold store.
The experimental session in a real low temperature cold store stated that the implementation of such a controller is feasible for an existing system and that can be combined with a developed controller. The implementation was relatively transparent for the staff working in the warehouse. The constraints due to the compressor technology didn’t allow a significant evaluation of the energy performance, but the energy savings potential when the controller was running, based on daily simulations, was evaluated between 5 to 10%.
A clear added value in this project is the capability to deploy a complex algorithm for near real-time and on-line control, without the efforts for a model and controller reduction and the unavoidable reduction of control efficiency.
The novelty in FRISBEE infrastructure is the contact between high-end computing and real industrial rank application, by means of the use of embedded electronics devices, though in a highly configurable and general-purpose way. The hardware equipment is able to receive common analog and digital signals from common sensors like temperature, humidity, flow rates, pressures and many others and has been designed as a modular extensible unit to be used on other configurations as well with a minor design adaptation. The whole design is oriented to low cost and industrial application. The control realizes a link between scientific results, measurements, inputs and parameters, data from the cold chain models and the physical processes under control.
• Storage ice cream with PCM protections.
The tests have proven that, in case of temperature abuse, storage with carton box + PCM cover was more efficient to protect the products than isolated box than carton box.
It is shown that the higher increase in ice crystals size was obtained when ice cream containers were packaged with only a carton box. Ice crystals growth in ice creams packaged with carton box and PCM slabs was slightly higher than in isolated ice cream containers.
• Retail display cabinet using PCM for superchilled or supercooled product.
The cabinet was able to maintain the product temperature within -3.0 and -1,7°C (range 1.3°C) including door opening and defrosts in an EN23953 climate class 3 test.
This was not able to meet the original specification of-1 to -2°C(range 1°C).
• A domestic fridge-freezer using PCM.
A two-compartment prototype refrigerator with two compressors and having separate refrigeration systems for fresh-food (FF) and freezer (FRZ) compartments were prepared and performance tests were performed in order to determine potential benefits for two different levels of evaporation temperatures.
With respect to the PCM specifications for household two compartments refrigerator, the PCM used contained a maximum of ~1 kg eutectic liquid (phase change temperature -21°C) having a total of ~75 kcal (~313,5 J) latent heat capacity and was placed in contact with the fresh-food (FF) evaporator. Similarly a maximum ~500 g eutectic liquid (phase change temperature -3°C) having a total of ~28 kcal (117 J) latent heat capacity was used in contact with the FRZ evaporator.
The total run-time percentage of the FRZ compressor decreased from 26.7% to 25.2% with the PCM application.
• The total run-time percentage of the FF compressor stayed at 12.8 % as in the original case without PCM application.
Consequently, a total energy consumption of 585 Wh/24h was obtained in the refrigerator prototype.
• Hence, total energy consumption of the refrigerator prototype was decreased 2.8% with the PCM application. The main benefit of the PCM application on FF evaporator was the maintenance of the temperature distribution homogeneity from top-to-bottom in the FF cabinet. Fluctuation of the overall average of FF air temperatures decreased from ~4.5 K to ~1.8 K.
The main S&T result regarding the demonstration activities presented in WP7 within the 3 main fields within the cold chain:
The Cold Chain Database and the Predictor tool.
A powerful and easy-to-use web-based software / effective tool have been developed to provide this information (http://frisbee-project.eu/coldchaindb.html). The demonstrated Cold Chain Database web based platform offers the potential to effectively manage and improve cold chain weak links. The Database was demonstrated on the Frisbee demo-day, where 130 persons from industry, media and institutes were presents. There was in addition arranged course where the attendants were able to test the tool.
QEEAT software (Frisbee-tool)
The developed new software tool (Frisbee-tool) for evaluation of energy consumption, quality and sustainability of refrigeration technologies within the cold chain has been demonstrated at the FRISBEE Industrial Demonstration day. The tool will provide objective evaluation to assess and improve existing refrigeration technologies and emerging new technologies and concepts developed in WP4 to WP6. This with respect to energy efficiency, quality of refrigerated foods and sustainability based on the framework developed in WP2 and for the selected refrigerated foods. At the FRISBEE Industrial Demonstration day, there was a live demonstration of the developed QEEAT tools. Also, the QEEAT tool was available for testing/demonstration on the Project home page (http://www.frisbee-project.eu/).
The development of integrated control systems were performed in WP3 to WP6, and three innovations related to integral control systems have been demonstrated on an industrial scale (meat and apple cold stores) or a commercial scale (refrigerated display cabinets). This includes 1) the integrated controller for an industrial cold store, based on predictive (weather) control, 2) the innovative Dynamic Controlled Atmosphere RQ controller and 3) the PCM (Phase change material) defrost system for refrigerated display cabinet.
The integrated controller for an industrial cold store, based on predictive (weather) control has been demonstrated to work as a remotely coupled controller. The innovative Dynamic Controlled Atmosphere RQ controller has been successfully applied to semi-industrial sized apple storage, providing a marked increase in product quality. The DCA – RQ controller in the current version still requires a human operator, and the next step in the development is probably to fully automate the whole proceeding, thus eliminating the need for a human operator. Also, the control system could be ported from a personal computer environment to a dedicated hardware device.
PCM pouches were applied in contact with the evaporators of a two-compartment prototype household refrigerator with two compressors and having separate refrigeration systems for fresh-food (FF) and freezer (FRZ) compartments. Performance tests were performed in order to determine potential benefits for two different levels of evaporation temperatures. The results showed total run-time percentage of the compressor decreased with 1.5% with the PCM application. As a result, total energy consumption of the freezer compressor decreased with a rate of ~5.6%. The average evaporation temperatures during compressor on-period have increased, with a result showing total run-time decrease of the compressor at 12.8 %. The total energy consumption in the refrigerator prototype has been decreased by 2.8% with the PCM application. Main benefit of the PCM application was maintained on the temperature distribution homogeneity through top-to-bottom in the cabinet. Fluctuation of the overall average air temperatures decreased, resulting in a considerable improvement in the shelf-life of food commodities in the compartment.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was applied to the chilling and superchilling salmon cold chains in order to compare these two processes and study their environmental impact. The superchilling cold chain presents an important improvement (reduction of about 20% per impact category: Global warming, Ozone Layer Depletion Human toxicity etc) compared to the chilled one. This improvement is mainly due to the augmentation of available volume for transportation in superchilled case since no ice is needed. Superchilled products will increase the shelf-life of up to 100 % compared with traditionally chilled products.
The demonstration activities on other novel technologies were showed live in the Frisbee Demo-Day, Paris. This included Nano energy packaging and material (smart-packing), superchilling, innovative displays cabinet with PCM, household refrigerators, and a magnetic refrigeration prototype.
WP8: WP8 was dedicated to dissemination of the FRISBEE project. First the communication tools were developed by ITP that created the FRISBEE project identity consisting of a logo, a PowerPoint presentation, a brochure, a poster and the website. Those communication tools have remained available to all partners and have been used in all communication events, in workshops seminars, in fairs and exhibitions.
The website created by ITP is open to everyone and contains general information as well as all the latest news, research results and events about the FRISBEE project.
The intranet site for communication between project partners was set up by PSUtec and is enabling project information like reports and news which are readily available to all partners.
The Dissemination to the scientific community was mainly based on:
Publications to Scientific journals and scientific congress.
For the whole duration of the project, the main scientific dissemination effort has been devoted mainly to the International Journal of Refrigeration and the Journal of Food Engineering. Ten FRISBEE articles have been submitted to the International Journal of Refrigeration. Also 12 articles have been published in Journal of Food Engineering. 7 publications have been produced in other peer reviewed scientific journals such as: “Trends in Food Science & Technology”, “Postharvest Biology and Technology”, “Food Bioprocess Technology”, “Food Hydrocolloids”, “Procedia Food Science”. Publications have also been realized in the context of International Conferences to which FRISBEE Partners attended. In total, more than 20 publications have been produced in this context.
Communication to Scientific Congress were performed by FRISBEE partners
A book created and published in eBook format by the IIR (assisted by ITP) and addressed at the general public (consumers and industrials) has gathered information from FRISBEE partners by summarizing the outcomes of the project and is available for download from the FRISBEE website:http://www.frisbee-project.eu/latest-news/189-frisbee-ebook.html
-Workshops and conferences
During the entire duration of the FRISBEE project, 5 important workshops (participants between 60-110) targeting mainly scientific and industrial community have been organized in large scientific Congresses. These include: FRISBEE workshop combined with the International Congress on Engineering of Foods, ICEF 2011, held in Athens Greece – 26 May 2011 .FRISBEE workshop combined with the 23rd International Congress of Refrigeration in Prague – 25 August 2011. FRISBEE workshop was organized in conjunction with the 2nd IIR International Conference on Sustainability and the Cold Chain at Paris – 2nd April 2013. FRISBEE workshop was organized by KU Leuven FRISBEE LEUVEN Workshop 14 Nov 2013. FRISBEE workshop was organized in conjunction with the 3rd IIR International Conference on Sustainability and the Cold Chain at London (UK) – 23rd June 2014.
Dissemination to industry and policy makers was based on Newsletters, workshops and mini conferences. CEMA in coordination with GEIE and ITP has produced 8 newsletters targeting dissemination of Frisbee project results to industry, trade bodies and consumer associations. Industrial workshops were organized for dissemination of information towards the European industry including retailers and distributors by organizing special industrial workshops.
During the whole duration of FRISBEE project, 4 important European workshops have been organized: Valencia Spain – 16 February 2012; Trondheim Norway – 30 August 2012 ; Gödöllő, Hungary– 17 October 2012 by SZIE partner of FRISBEE, Netherlands by TNO. Mini-conferences have been organized both by SPES GEIE members but also by the project partners. The definition of a mini-conference was described at the beginning of the project as: “A mini-conference is a presentation of Frisbee activity and results done with the support of a complete power point presentation during an existing conference or event”
A total of 36 mini-conferences have been organized mainly by all the SPES GEIE members (FIAB in Spain, ANIA in France, FEDERALIMENTARE in Italy, CCIS-CAFÉ in Slovenia and TUBITAK in Turkey). Many of these mini-conferences were organized during important events and fairs allowing communication to the key stakeholders of the food chain: industrials, clusters and public authorities.
-Dissemination to consumers
The main objective of this task was the dissemination of Frisbee results to consumers and the main tool used was a virtual platform which was part of the website especially dedicated to consumers. An ebook book was also prepared and disseminated via the website.
Interactive displays: 4 interactive displays have been produced among them 2 quizzes, 1 comic strip, 1 cold chain animation but also an information notice on how to arrange the house hold fridge. All these tools are reachable on the platform for consumers available on the website. Other items such as anthropological and sociological studies by surveys, but also in the social networks were performed by CNRS have been also been integrated in the consumer platform.
Development of the Virtual European food refrigeration technologies platform
The objective of this task CEMA coordinated together with SPES and ITP, and with all FRISBEE partners, was devoted to the development of an industrial food refrigeration technology virtual platform linked to the FRISBEE web site and hosting a demo version of all tools, models and software. A demo version of the database, the tools for exploiting the database, the Matlab user-interface for QEEAT tool chain simulation and the generic control algorithm of refrigerating systems have been included and are available in the platform.
-Collaboration with other EU projects
Collaboration with 12 European projects has been initiated and established concretely during the entire duration of the project.
The active collaboration with COOL-SAVE project must be pointed out as some partners of FRISBEE were also partners of COOL-SAVE.
The FRISBEE project has developed new solutions for improving refrigeration technologies throughout the cold chain. The project tools, solutions and technologies will provide consumers with safe, high quality food. Consumer confidence in the food cold chain has been extended. Food manufacturers and refrigeration equipment manufacturers are able to benefit from the solutions and tools and they are able to economically exploit the new and innovative technologies developed. The sustainability of the new processes has been validated and demonstrated. Tools have been developed (free to use by industrial end users) to support European industry in their need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (from direct emissions of high GWP (Global Warming Potential) refrigerant gasses and indirectly from CO2 emissions).
The project consortium includes key industrial partners and a highly proficient group of R&D providers that together are keen to ensure the use of the tools and database as well as new technologies. Further exploitation projects would be necessary to guarantee development, production and exploitation of the required equipment and systems. The project generated viable and profitable business opportunities ( e.g.. a new start-up company, Bionica, was launched thanks to innovations in the project on nano PCM structured PMC). A well-conceived plan for handling intellectual property rights (IPR) will assure profitable business opportunities developed that strikes a good balance between consortium commitments and attractive business opportunities.
The 26 partner FRISBEE team enabled the work to be exploited on a European level rather than at national level. It is expected that now we will progress towards an international synergy thanks to larger networks such as the International Institute of Refrigeration and Food Industry networks. We expect that the European food industry, related cold chain actors and consumers will all benefit from the FRISBEE project.
There are four major strategic areas of high impact validated during the FRISBEE project and pertinent to the actions that will be undertaken after FRISBEE:
1. European added value.
2. Competitiveness of European industries.
3. Consumer well-being and confidence in the cold chain.
4. Environmental sustainability.
1. European added value.
Among the main objectives of the FRISBEE project were to develop new innovative and sustainability processes and products supporting the competitiveness and the sustainability of European industries, in particular SMEs. Industrial in the project and outside the project are willing to use and to exploit these new and emerging technologies to better control sustainable production of safer, healthier, higher-quality food.
Among all potentially new technologies and concepts used for refrigeration technologies for all food types the FRISBEE team has selected technologies that they believed have the greatest potential impact for the European food industry over the next 10 years. The food products selected were those that showed the greatest potential economic impact:
• Pork is the highest tonnage meat produced in Europe at just over 25 million tonnes per year.
• Fruit and vegetables cover 16.6% of the EU production of agricultural food (apple and spinach).
• Fish in frozen and fresh form (combined) is the third most important protein in value and volume terms after chicken and beef sold through retail outlets. Salmon was chosen as a representative, high valued fish product of the FAO type Freshwater and Diadromous fishes.
• Ice cream consumption in Europe is around 7 litters per capita annually. According to commercial data (Research and Markets, Dublin, Ireland) in Western Europe the ice cream market covers 17 countries.
There is a direct link between added storage life and industrial competitiveness. Extending storage life also allows greater competition with countries outside of Europe as distribution of quality products to countries outside of Europe is possible (FRISBEE- European DataBase). The FRISBEE project has not only developed new emerging technologies that have direct benefits for assessing any cold chain (The FRISBEE Tool) and extended product shelf life (Superchilling and Supercooling) but has also develop technologies to improve current cold chains ( VIP, TES, nanostructure materials with PCM, advanced controllers) thereby providing solutions that can be applied immediately. In addition more advanced technologies such as magnetic refrigeration that can be applied in a 5-10 year time frame have been developed.
In the wider context, FRISBEE has contributed to provide enhanced European competitiveness by:
• Providing and disseminating new tools (QEEEAT), Database (Cold Chain FRISBEE database) , and technical information on new refrigeration technologies via a European network and a technical network of industrial end-users workshops (more than 8 industrial workshops organised)
• Establishing a European and International research network (for example this could be further developed through the International Refrigeration Institute into a FRISBEE working Party) with experience in large collaborative experiments involving challenging experimental design and coordination.
• Exploiting IP developed within the project (e.g. patents on nanostructure materials, PCMs and also on magnetic refrigeration have been prepared) for the gain of European industry.
• Stimulating the development of new products (e.g. such a two compartment household refrigerator or display cabinets) and processes thereby increasing the competitiveness of Europe.
• Extending work carried out on a national level and giving it a European dimension.
• Training and developing new research talent for the future through PhDs, post doc, Marie Curie and Leonardo da Vinci scholarships and training.
• Publication and dissemination of information on new technologies through the project web site, targeted workshops and conferences, press releases and publications (trade, peer reviewed and conference). Establishing European leadership in the development, production and utilisation of advanced refrigeration technologies.
• Enable new member states to have access to the latest refrigeration technologies and to help them compete with established European states.
• There is also tremendous potential to transfer developments from within FRISBEE to other industrial sectors such as pharmaceuticals.
2. Competitiveness of European industry
To be competitive the European food industry requires new processes that are economic to operate. The profit margin for most food manufacturers is low (around 3% for most food products) and therefore manufacturers are not able to contemplate processes that will increase costs. The FRISBEE project have developed new market opportunities (nanostructured material, household refrigerators with PCM, superchilling) for European industry and provided them with a competitive advantage. SMEs in particular will benefit from development and demonstration of high-tech (e.g. nanostructured materials: Bionica start-up created thanks to innovating material developed within FRISBEE), eco-efficient processing and smart control applications.
To exactly identify where temperature abuse takes place in different food products in the cold chain field tests were performed for 5 European countries. The FRISBEE project partners involved have collected together all data available from partners, external providers, academic, industrial and networks (including previously unpublished information), literature sources and industrial sources to create thefirst FRISBEE Coldchain DataBase. A cold chain field test was also performed in 5 European countries which provided a unique source of data.
The development of a comprehensive database on the cold chain in Europe along with the developed application and shelf life predictor software will allow better management of the food expiration date. Overestimation of the expiration date leads to products of low quality while expiration date underestimation lead to an increase of food waste which is currently a central issue in Europe. Furthermore, improvement of the estimated food shelf life in the real cold chain using the developed tools can have implications towards reducing waste of perfectly good food products, currently being thrown away by the consumers because they have passed their nominal expiration date. Food companies and freezing operation plants can benefit from the results of the identification of refrigeration needs and available technologies in the food industry by being able to exploit the potential improvement in current refrigeration technologies and also exploit the alternative novel refrigeration technologies. This database is a valuable source of information for European industry to be able to benchmark and compare their processes efficiency with others. The performed study of consumer needs and expectations from the food cold chain highlights the need to further educate the consumers and raise consumer awareness of refrigeration technologies. Moreover the conducted consumer survey can extend consumer confidence in scientific studies and in the food cold chain management tools.
FRISBEE worked on quantifying where the refrigeration energy is consumed.
It is difficult to exactly quantify where the refrigeration energy is consumed in the food chain. The FRISBEE project partners involved have collect together data from all partners (many of whom had unpublished information to contribute), literature sources and industrial sources to create analytical reports on energy, refrigerant leakage and whenever possible relate these to food quality and safety and consumer acceptability. This may lead to further development of MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standards) or advisory energy consumption levels in areas where they currently do not exist.
Multinational companies and SMEs are seeking to understand the commercial availability and economical viability of new refrigeration technologies (Superchilling, PCM, and magnetic refrigeration) that align with European policies. Options must not utilise greenhouse gases (GHGs e.g. magnetic refrigeration) and must provide energy efficiency advantages (e.g. Thermal Energy Storage, TES; PCMs). Identifying these options is not always easy for companies (especially SMEs) as available information is often contradictory or confusing. The FRISBEE project has contributed by providing adapted and innovating tools that have been developed in alliance with industrial SME’s and large industrial groups.
One of the main strategic technological impacts within FRISBEE was to develop linked models of refrigeration system performance (energy and environmental aspects), and food quality and safety (‘QEEAT’ FRISBEE tool). These are truly innovative, as very few models exist that dynamically link refrigeration operation with the food. By developing these QEEAT tools, the FRISBEE team have provided a truly novel food safety and quality assessment tool. The developed new software tool (FRISBEE-tool) for evaluation of energy consumption, quality and sustainability of refrigeration technologies within the cold chain has been demonstrated and industrial personnel were trained on it at the “FRISBEE Industrial Demonstration Day and training” in Antony France IRSTEA, 29 August 2014. The tool provides objective evaluation to assess and improve existing refrigeration technologies and emerging new technologies and concepts developed in the FRISBEE project. Within the tool energy efficiency, quality of refrigerated foods and sustainability based on the framework developed in WP2 and for the selected refrigerated foods has been developed. At the FRISBEE Industrial Demonstration day, there was a live demonstration and training short course of the developed QEEAT tools. Also, the QEEAT tool is available for testing/demonstration on the Project home page (http://www.frisbee-project.eu/).
3. Contribution to consumer well-being and confidence in the cold chain.
Consumer needs and concerns are of absolute priority in the food cold chain. The cold chain has to satisfy consumers’ demands: it has to provide safe, high quality, healthy, economically priced food. FRISBEE has contributed to providing the consumer with high quality, safe, functional and economic food. FRISBEE has also contributed by reducing energy consumption. Nowadays 25% of household electrical bills (excluding heating) are due to household refrigerators. Innovations for the consumer have been developed to reduce energy consumption and/or cost of energy (PCM household refrigerator, smart packaging) whilst still maintaining/enhancing the quality and safety of foods stored in the home.
The work within FRISBEE directly addresses and contributes to consumer needs:
• To inform and educate consumers though the work carried out within the project and to contribute to European consumer policies.
• Understand and compare consumers’ behaviour in different European countries regarding cold chain and household refrigerator.
• Increased safety of food through enhanced temperature control throughout the food cold chain.
• Enhanced food quality and nutritional content of chilled and frozen foods by evidencing the important role of refrigerator temperature control.
• Enhanced quality control systems for the cold chain.
• A more sustainable cold chain.
• Reduced energy consumption at home (electricity bills reduced)
• Inexpensive but high quality foods.
One of the major concerns of the EC is to bring the consumer into the heart of EU policies on health, enterprise, industry, the environment and transport. The FRISBEE project places the consumer at the centre of the technological design studies and large sociological surveys within the project.
A high level of consumer protection and the enforcement of consumer protection rules were FRISBEE project priorities. In agreement with EU policies focuses on five priority areas: putting consumers at the heart of other EU policies, better consumer protection regulation, better monitoring of consumer markets and national consumer policies (FRISBEE field test in 5 countries) and enhancing product safety through the development of market monitoring tools (development of wireless sensors taking into account the food quality). There is also a very important aim to inform and to educate consumers (FRISBEE-e-book, quiz interactive display, comics) .
Sociological studies and consumers surveys and social networks were investigated to discover the expectations and reactions of consumers to emerging technologies. These initiatives were designed to improve the provision of information to consumers, as well as information campaigns in the East Member States (Slovenia Czech Republic, Hungary) and third countries (Turkey). FRISBEE has contributed to this objective through its consortium members.
4. Contribution to environmental sustainability.
Refrigeration is a major user of energy and a contributor to global warming. The FRISBEE project has been devoted to developing refrigeration technologies that will reduce energy consumption and to developing technologies that utilise low GWP benign refrigerants or exclude the use of conventional refrigerants (e.g. air cycle or magnetic refrigeration).
Worldwide it is estimated that 15% of the electricity consumed is used for refrigeration and 8% is used for food refrigeration. Work carried out in WP2 has brought together current knowledge on energy consumed by refrigeration processes. Partners from WP2 have provided valuable information both within the project and to end users.
Europe has an objective to reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2020. In addition, there is an aim to diversify from fossil fuels and to obtain at least 50% of energy from alternative sources by 2050. FRISBEE has contributed directly to the European energy objective by providing food and refrigeration companies with tools (the QEEAT “FRISBEE Tool”) and alternative refrigeration technologies to reduce energy consumption (e.g. advanced controllers and energy management). FRISBEE has also contributed by reengineering current refrigeration technologies and developing new concepts such as advanced control strategies. To stay in the race with other industrialised countries and emergent economies the EU countries must collectively develop strategies to reduce energy. The European Commission aims to achieve this objective with a Strategic Energy Technology plan (SET plan) based on both short term and long term energy strategies:
• In the short term, a strategy to increase research to improve performance of existing refrigeration technologies and to encourage commercial implementation of energy saving technologies has been implemented. FRISBEE. Activities at this level have focused in particular on improving the energy efficiency of current refrigeration technologies in food industry (advanced energy controllers, thermal energy storage)
• In the longer term, the strategy is to support development of new generation low carbon emission technologies. Activities within the FRISBEE project have also focused on emerging technologies. Within the project, the team have focused on the competitiveness of new technologies relating to alternative energy sources such as thermal energy storage and new technologies (PCM nanostructured material, and magnetic refrigeration).
FRISBEE partners are already integrated into refrigeration and energy networks to maintain the effort and bring it to an International scale through new projects and International networks . Therefore, FRISBEE will be able to follow developments within these networks and align work accordingly in new proposals.
Environment impact of refrigerants
To eliminate ozone depleting CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) from refrigeration systems, considerable progress had been made in the last 20 years. EU Regulation has already banned the use of ozone depleting refrigerants such as R22 in new systems. Systems operating on R22 will not be able to be recharged with refrigerant after 2015. As a direct consequence many food manufactures will need to install new plants in the next 5-6 years. This is a considerable ‘window of opportunity’ for new technologies to be adopted in the food industry. The technologies developed within FRISBEE are therefore especially relevant and have a great chance of being adopted.
There is considerable potential in the European market for natural refrigerants (e.g. air cycle technology). The European market for refrigeration technologies and next generation components earned revenues in the last years. The most commonly utilised natural refrigerants are ammonia for large industrial systems, CO2 for medium sized plant and hydrocarbons for small domestic and commercial cabinets. In FRISBEE we have explored and performed feasibility studies on technologies such as air cycle and magnetocaloric refrigeration that are not affected by the toxicity or flammability issues related to the above refrigerants and are highly reliable, low maintenance, energy efficient and safe options.
Links of related relevant EC projects
An important issue in the FRISBEE project, as for any EC project, is links with other European and national related projects in order to improve the impact of the results. The following projects were identified and interactions created:
• Collaboration between FRISBEE and SINERGIA project:
SINERGIA will get the opportunity to transfer technology and results from both COOLSAVE and FRISBEE for improving cooling and refrigeration technologies in the agro-food companies.
• Collaboration between SOPHY and FRISBEE project: SOPHY has used the FRISBEE database and has promoted new technologies studied in FRISBEE for optimization of the quality and shelf-life of ready-to-eat products. SOPHY can also feed the databases and modelling tools developed in FRISBEE (WP2 and WP3).
• Collaboration between FRISBEE and ELICIT project: Camfridge is both a partner inf ELICIT (magnetic refrigeration project) and the FRISBEE project. This active partner is able to create collaboration and synergistic effects between these two projects
• Collaboration between FRISBEE and AFTER. The technologies developed in FRISBEE can be usued to improve quality and safety of African products and also to improve cooling and refrigeration technologies in African Countries.
Potential impact detailed by workpackage
The development of a comprehensive database on the cold chain in Europe along with the developed application and software will allow better management of the food expiration date application. Overestimation of the expiration date leads to products of low quality while expiration date underestimation leads to an increase of food waste which is currently a central issue in Europe. Furthermore, improvement of the estimated food shelf life in the real cold chain using the developed tools can have implications towards reducing waste of perfectly good food products, currently being thrown away by the consumers because they have passed their nominal expiration date. Food companies and freezing operation plants can benefit from the results of the identification of refrigeration needs and available technologies in the food industry by being able to exploit the potential improvement in current refrigeration technologies and also exploit the alternative of applying promising novel refrigeration technologies. The performed study of consumer needs and expectations from the food cold chain highlights the need to further educate the consumers and raise consumer awareness of refrigeration technologies. Moreover the conducted consumer survey can extend consumer confidence in scientific studies and in the food cold chain management tools.
Main dissemination activities:
The results from WP2 were disseminated through a wide range of dissemination activities including publications (1), presentations in scientific conferences (9) and workshops (6), the development of the Cold Chain Database website and the development of a consumer webpage informing the Greek consumers about the FRISBEE project and activities within WP2. Tutorial videos on the use of the Cold Chain Database and the Cold Chain Predictor software were also created and are freely available online in the Cold Chain Database website. Within WP2, a training course on the Cold Chain Database and the Cold Chain Predictor software took place in the FRISBEE Demonstration Day where the attendants (from the food industry) were provided with training material including a CD, flyers and user instruction documents. Furthermore, the WP2 results were also disseminated to industrial Greek stakeholders in interaction with the European funded research project SOPHY.
Exploitation of results:
For an effective exploitation of the WP2 results, the exploitable results and the main target groups have been identified as the final end-users to adopt or apply the results of the project, and potentially benefit from the knowledge produced in the FRISBEE project beyond its life. The (i) Cold Chain Database, (ii) Cold Chain Predictor software and (iii) Database of consumer awareness, expectations and concerns on cold chain have been identified as the main exploitable results of WP2. For an effective exploitation of the specific results, the following main target groups have been identified that can potentially benefit from the knowledge produced: (i) Food producers, (ii) Cold chain stakeholders, (iii) Scientific community and (iv) Consumers.
Regarding the Cold Chain Database exploitation, data consisting of the Cold Chain Database is in the co-ownership of NTUA and IRSTEA who are the major contributors to the database. All FRISBEE consortium members have free access to the Cold Chain Database and embedded applications that will by fully accessible and available after the life of the project. NTUA is the only administrator of the Cold Chain Database and will be in charge of the maintenance of the Cold Chain Database using its own recourses for at least 2 years and as long as the required recourses are available. The Cold Chain Database administrator will be informing the database registered users on the developments of the Cold Chain Database and will be responsible of administering the contact e-mail and correspondence: FRISBEE@chemeng.ntua.gr. An e-mail will be sent to registered users every 2 months (serving as a newsletter) in order to keep users updated. The Cold Chain Database will be demonstrated and disseminated in related scientific conferences and workshops.
As far as the Cold Chain Predictor software is concerned, NTUA is the developer and owner of the software while all FRISBEE consortium members and database registered users have free access to the software upon request. Any newer release of the software will be communicated to all users by NTUA. The Cold Chain Predictor software will be demonstrated to cold chain stakeholders that can benefit from the use of the software.
Finally, the database of consumer awareness, expectations and concerns on the cold chain is owned by CNRS. However, all FRISBEE consortium members have free access to the database upon request. The results of the consumers’ database and survey will be published in scientific and large audience research journals in order to be more effectively communicated in the wide European public.
In general close collaboration with related EU projects in order to support their dissemination activities and voice their results through the WP2 results will be sought and encouraged by all WP2 involved FRISBEE partners.
An extensive number of peer reviewed journal publications and oral presentations at conferences and dedicated workshops have been realized regarding the work related with this work package.
The final FRISBEE tool is a software that can be used by various stakeholders of the food cold chain, including consumers, food retailers, food logistics companies, and manufacturers of refrigeration equipment, to evaluate their cold chains by assessing the impact of process variables (for example set point temperatures, fan power, and cold chain duration) and technology selection on the final quality of the refrigerated product, the energy consumption and global warming impact of refrigeration equipment. The FRISBEE consortium partners involved in the development of the FRISBEE tool have agreed to make the final version of the FRISBEE tool freely available as an executable for any interested individual or company. Once the final comments of the consortium partners on the last internal release (version 7 --September 2014) are integrated, a final release (version 8) of the FRISBEE tool will be made publically available for download through the FRISBEE website (www.frisbee-project.eu and www.frisbeetool.eu).
The consortium partners believe that by making the latest FRISBEE tool version freely available to all interested persons and parties, a large outreach and visibility of the FRISBEE project is possible. Moreover, the consortium trusts that this action will result in future extension of the FRISBEE tool through new collaborations in order to answer dedicated questions of consumers or industrial partners on food quality, food safety and food chain sustainability. Lastly, users of freeware products generally are much more open to send feedback, as they wish to substantiate this software model.
Regarding the wireless sensor network, the FRISBEE demonstration day at the Antony facilities proved that many people in the field are interested in the sensors having the IT features inside. It is a new way of achieving traceability and control and it enables new frontiers in the whole cold chain technology. Moreover, the low costs foreseen for mass production of the devices and the network coordinators are marketable and interesting for people in the field. The many contacts gained during the demonstration let SPES consider it as a proof of exploitability.
The potentialities and the impact of the use of PCM nanoparticles in the wall of refrigerated equipment is mainly due to the volume savings by incorporating the material directly inside the insulation. Thus there exists a potential commercialization of PCM nano-structured panels. The commercialization of these technologies is still currently a challenge, and there are certain niche applications where this could be probably more easily implemented if efficiency and cost requirements are met. An example is equipment for superchilled food since the temperature has to be kept very stable, without using much of the volume available for products.
With more than a billion domestic refrigerators in the world and a worldwide market, a reduction of the energy consumption through the addition of PCM panels (Deliverables 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206) is a notable result. A first evaluation of the technology cost has been done by the industrial partner and shows that the additional cost should be only a few euros, making it economically realistic. More tests have still to be performed in order to optimise the coupling between the refrigerating system, the control device and the PCM, and in order to evaluate its long term reliability.
Given the strong impact of refrigeration on GHG emissions, a more variable and increasing electricity cost for the future, and consumers' rising concern about environmental impact and sustainable development and on food safety and quality, the advanced predictive controller should find a favorable market. One of the objectives was to design a generic controller that can be used on an existing facility.
To our knowledge, there is no industrial controller optimizing at the same time product quality, energy consumption and environmental impact. Due to its complexity (and probably cost), the controller should be used in large refrigerating plants such as in an industrial processing plant or in a food storage warehouse.
The main expectation of the future potential users / consumers will be very likely a reduction of energy consumption (therefore energy cost). This reduction depends of how the previous control strategies are elaborated, but potential savings evaluated in the frozen products storage warehouse during the validation were from 5% to 15%. Energy cost is an important part of the global cost for warehouses and this level of percentage should be motivating.
WP5 has demonstrated that technologies such as superchilling and supercooling can extend the shelf life of food without negative impacts. This has the potential to reduce food waste if food can be stored for longer periods with no detriment. In addition it has the potential to reduce growth of bacteria and in particular to reduce food poisoning.
Air cycle refrigeration has been shown to be an economic option for low temperature freezing, both in terms of costs and carbon emissions. As air has zero GWP (Global Warming Potential) it has long terms applicability as a refrigerant, especially with the current phase down and banning of HCFC/HFC refrigerants.
Some health and safety aspects of the use of nanoparticles were highlighted within the work on nanoparticles in refrigeration systems. Currently there are no standards for use of such particles and the work within work package 5 has highlighted the potential health and safety implication of non-controlled use of nanoparticles.
The application and take up of emerging technologies was highlighted in the consumer investigation. It was clear that the benefits of emerging technologies need to be carefully disseminated to consumers who often fear new technologies. The positive aspects for health and safety need to be clearly expounded. In addition if technologies can be perceived as fashionable or ‘smart’ then consumers are more likely to consider them favorably.
Exploitation of emerging technologies
Large scale superchilling has the potential to be of great use to the food production industry for maintaining quality and freshness in a variety of foodstuff, in particular fish and meat. This is a more efficient method of preservation compared to deep freezing, as it is both faster to achieve and requires less energy. Superchilled food is still considered as a fresh product when stored above -1.2°C, which the foods would be in order to maintain the low ice fraction contents associated with superchilling. Superchilling is already used in Norway to extend storage lives of food. Some issues surround superchilling of fish in EU countries as EU regulations stipulate that ice must be used during transportation. One of the main advantages of superchilling is that ice is not required and therefore the space taken by the ice can be replaced by food. Therefore transport vehicles can transport more food per journey and become more efficient. Work is ongoing to promote superchilling of fish as an efficient technology and to amend EU regulations.
Several companies have expressed interest in supercooling. Bonduelle (a partner in FRISBEE) is interested in supercooling of vegetables and a domestic refrigerator manufacturer is interested in the potential to supercool food in domestic refrigerators.
Camfridge and the IIR are partners in ELICiT (Environmentally Low Impact Cooling Technology) a FP7 project working to further develop magnetic refrigeration. Camfridge have a laboratory demonstration magnetic fridge suitable to be fitted to a domestic refrigerator.
Several companies have expressed an interest in developing air cycle refrigeration. Currently funding is being sought for a project to work towards commercialising the technology.
Several companies have been using the outputs of the modelling work on vacuum insulate panels. A low temperature cryogenics company has applied VIPs to some of their products.
CSIC have the patent emanating from the work to encapsulate PCMs into packaging.
WP6 and WP7 are industrial cases and demonstration from the others WP.
WP6 worked on industrial tests of the improved and emerging technologies selected in WP3,WP4, WP5 . Some examples of those case study are 1) Advanced controllers were tested in showcases validated under industrial conditions in a new warehouse of Eurofresch in Neuenkirchen Germany ( Large frozen meat cold storage (2700 pallets).The implementation of such a controller based on web technology is feasible for any other industrial cold storage and that can be combined with any classical controller. The implementation was transparent for the staff working in the warehouse. The energy savings potential when the controller is running, based on daily simulations, is evaluated between 5 to 10%. Several food companies and SME refrigeration companies have been asking for potential exploitation of the controller.
2) Advanced apple cold room control was tested under industrial conditions. With accurate control of the RQ-DCA unit and carefully selected fruit significant improvements in firmness preservation can be attained.
Potential impact showed that RQ-DCA performs better than conventional ULO and is at least comparable to other storage DCA methods
•In pilot scale cool rooms, with a mix of fruit from different growers and more effects of air leaks, the RQ-DCA protocol need further work for improvements and optimization.
3) PCM was used by industrial partners to develop new prototypes of Household refrigerators, and display cabinets that were presented in the Demonstration Day. Consortium companies have expressed an interest in developing further those prototypes at industrial scale.
4) Emerging technologies such as Superchilling were tested in industrial showcases at Fatland, partner in the FRISBEE project. This technologie has shown potential inpact for Fatland that has expressed the interest to used not only on pork meat but in other kind of meat products. Bonduelle is willing to test after the project on vegetables products.
5. Disruptive technologies such as Magnetic refrigeration was considered as one of the major developments in the FRISBEE project. CAFRIDGE developed an improved prototype TL4. Several companies have expressed an interest in developing this technology together with CAMFRIDGE. Many other companies outside the consortium have already contacted us to planning new proposal and projects.
WP7) Demonstration activities were summarized and presented at the DEMOSTRATION DAY organised by Irtsea in Antony the 29 August 2014. All the consortium partners participated and promoted the semi industrial prototypes, databases, and tools. Live demonstrations conferences and training courses were provided. More than 110 industrial people participated mainly from food industry sector, as well as authorities, academics and scientist. The feedbacks from the industrial visitors were very positives. Several companies have expressed an interest in developing future collaborations. They have requested access to database and requested the FRISBEE tool . These actions have shown the great interest and great potential impact of the results for the food industry.
WP8) Thanks to building a project identity in a very professional way by ITP, the image of FRISBEE is very strong now among the scientific community, food industry and professionals of refrigeration industry and will have more chance to remain sustainable in the future. We want in particular to organise FRISBEE international networks on Cold Chain to transfer and adapt our new technologies, approaches, database and tools to other countries and continents such as Asia, Africa, America, Australia.
Definitely the dissemination activity of FRISBEE will be improved by the proof of concept and in return will give assessments on the viability for an exploitation of the Database, the FRISBEE TOOL and Emerging technologies solutions for the market, with relevant impact foreseen both on research and industry in cold chain for food.
After the end of the project, it will be important to continue to advertise about the opportunity of the FRISBEE refrigeration platform for consumers in all participating countries especially to the consumers’ associations and consumers’ magazines. During demoday a large press conference was organised by Irstea. More than 15 journalists came to interview the consortium on the technologies and concepts,. More than 20 press articles were published, and radio information was disseminated ( large audience).
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Grant agreement ID: 245288
1 September 2010
31 August 2014
€ 8 165 746,20
€ 5 992 082
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE EN SCIENCES ET TECHNOLOGIES POUR L'ENVIRONNEMENT ET L'AGRICULTURE
This project is featured in...
Deliverables not available
Grant agreement ID: 245288
1 September 2010
31 August 2014
€ 8 165 746,20
€ 5 992 082
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE EN SCIENCES ET TECHNOLOGIES POUR L'ENVIRONNEMENT ET L'AGRICULTURE
This project is featured in...
Grant agreement ID: 245288
1 September 2010
31 August 2014
€ 8 165 746,20
€ 5 992 082
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE EN SCIENCES ET TECHNOLOGIES POUR L'ENVIRONNEMENT ET L'AGRICULTURE