Acoustic cavitation in liquids
Demonstration Project at prospective user facilities: High-Power Ultrasound patented technology to disrupt the honey industry with a healthier and energy-efficient processing technique
25 March 2020 / 25 January 2021
Resource-efficient food processing
Honey is much more than a sweetener; it is a functional food. Aside from its delicious sweet taste, raw honey is composed of more than 200 beneficial substances as aminoacids, antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, and nutrients that have proven benefits to our health: anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. Honey presents a semi-transparent viscous fluid state when extracted from the honeycomb, but in few weeks crystallization of honey inevitably occurs as a natural phenomenon (caused by the high presence of sugars), thus honey unfortunately becomes semi-solid (crystallization). Honey crystallization is little understood by the consuming public, since most consumers incorrectly assume that crystallized honey is spoiled or has been adulterated with sugar. This misconception is the cause for consumers to reject to buy it in grocery stores and supermarkets. To facilitate handling/packing, assure consumers’ acceptance, and avoid risks associated with honey returns, honey packers pasteurize honey destined to retail, so raw honey is heated at 80ºC for 2-3 minutes to melt sugar crystals before bottling. Unfortunately, these high temperatures also lead to a significant reduction in quality, freshness and nutraceutical attributes of honey, due to the most important honey heat-sensitive components are thermally degraded above 50ºC. In recent times, the demand for better quality honey is on the rise, as honey is being consumed for its health benefits, and also as a natural sweetener that could replace un-healthy refined sugar. In response to such growing consumers’ demands for healthier food, a clear need exists among retail honey processors for a cost-effective, energy efficient, healthier processing alternative to thermal treatment, preserving 100% honey’s beneficial natural constituents. At Sonicat Systems we introduce our revolutionary flag-ship product, LIQUAM®, a continuous flow reactor of 100kg/h for small beekeeper that assures a more respectful and efficient food processing, based on High Power Ultrasounds [HPU]. LIQUAM avoids honey crystallization, whilst retaining all the natural nutrients of raw honey. This specific project has been conceived to demonstrate our Minimum Viable Product [MVP] at a prospective user’s facilities (www.untamedhoney.com) during few months. The MVP will be demonstrated in terms of: 1) different honey samples (botanical type, origin and composition), 2) different pre-treatment steps (filtering, mixing, homogenization), and 3) at different operational conditions (power, frequency, temperature, energy consumption, transducers’ attachment). During the project we aim to improve the design and usability of LIQUAM® small size (100kg/h), thus bridging the gap between the current TRL7 and the expected TRL8 (system complete and qualified).
The consortia is composed by Sonicat Systems (foodtech start-up from Spain, expert in food processing), FISA (ultrasonic transducers manufacturer from Italy) and Libelium (IoT devices manufacturer from Spain).
LIQUAM project meets the scope of VIDA challenges by: 1) including a novel technology for honey processing that reduces energy consumption by 40% compared to BAT, 2) improving the food value chain with nutrients preservation and valorisation in the sugar industry (honey), 3) introducing advanced manufacturing technologies as KET for this purpose.
LIQUAM’s Value proposition
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