Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Chilled drinks in seconds

Consumers may soon say good-bye to refrigerated display cases and vending machines. Ground-breaking rapid beverage chilling technology promises cold drinks in seconds at a fraction of the energy cost of current refrigeration systems.
Chilled drinks in seconds
Grabbing a cold drink from a refrigerated display case or vending machine provides welcome relief on a hot day. However, the majority of beverages have a relatively long shelf-life and there is no need to keep them refrigerated prior to consumption. Reducing energy consumption associated with commercial refrigeration is not only smart for the environment but also soon to be governed by law.

Novel cooling units for on-demand rapid chilling of beverages promise to decrease energy consumption by up to 75 % in comparison to of conventional vending machines. EU-funded scientists working on the project ‘Development of a rapid cooling technology for commercial refrigeration applications’ (RAPIDCOOL) are on to something big that is now penetrating the market under the V-Tex trademark.Scientists produced a number of prototypes including a six-can system that can automatically handle the cans. Tests demonstrated that cooling rates of less than one minute were achieved with an energy savings of 80 – 90 % compared to conventional open-front commercial refrigerators.
Autonomous and fast cooling of small batches of drinks will enable vendors to meet even higher demands cost-effectively.

Four patents have been filed and commercial agreements have been established with major supply chain partners. In addition, the consortium has signed an official cooperation agreement with Heineken that will include participation in technical meetings, commercial input and development reviews. Project objectives now include targeting domestic markets, for which the development of new products is underway.

Innovative RAPIDCOOL technology promises significant benefits in reduced energy consumption and related emissions to help the EU reach ambitious goals. Retailers will benefit from decreases in refrigeration costs and eliminate the tedious process of restocking refrigerators to make sure that chilled drinks are within consumer reach.

Consumers may also soon have the option of an in-fridge system for domestic use that is currently under development.
It could reduce the need to stock bottles and cans that take valuable space required for perishable items and ensure that cold drinks are always available during a party.

Related information


Commercial refrigeration, beverages, cooling units, on-demand chilling
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