Project Overview

In recent years, many novel food preservation technologies have been developed. One of the most promising in terms of economic benefits, reduced environmental footprint is a revolutionary method for drying food using pressurized CO2 instead heat or cold for drying. It uses only pressurized CO2 to dehydrate food, introducing several commercial benefits - simplified process, energy efficiency, and improved product quality (in terms of nutritional & sensorial properties, as well as microbial deactivation). This addresses both the need for ecologically sound food chains and the increasing wishes of consumers for high quality, healthy food.

CO2 drying is projected to be widely applicable in the food industry for the preservation of vegetables, mushrooms, fruits, herbs and meat. It can also be used for the stabilization of temperature-sensitive food ingredients such as proteins, starches and other biopolymers, from conventional or novel food sources (e.g. algae). Therefore the replication options for this technology and its impact are very high.

The main objectives of FutureFood are to bring forward the industrial implementation of CO2 food drying and minimize the risks for market entry. Several issues will be addressed to facilitate these objectives, for example

  • Develop and validate product prototypes
  • Prove microbial safety and product stability benefits in long term storage/shelf life testing
  • Process validation and certification
  • Optimize the energy reduction potential
  • Further extension of pilot unit to widen process applicability
  • Evaluate market potential
  • Demonstration with industrial parties