To reduce energy consumption during the storage and processing of frozen products, and preserve the quality of frozen products during preparation. That is the goal of the "Duurzaam ingevroren & smaakvol" (sustainably frozen and delicious) research project.
Freezing is a common method to increase the shelf life of a product. It prevents food decay and loss of value in the chain. It also contributes to decreasing food waste.
Improving the image
However, frozen products are not valued as highly as fresh products. This is related to energy consumption, the quality, the weight, and clumping during frozen storage. To improve this situation, it is essential to understand two things:
In a collaboration with Lamb Weston Meijer, Cargill, Food Process Solutions, and Koninklijke Nederlandse Vereniging voor Koudetechniek, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is looking at how moisture migration and crystal formation occur. This will provide insight into the physical causes of product quality loss. The way in which different storage conditions impact on the chain is also being examined.
Quality improvement for frozen products
The research project will help businesses to provide higher quality frozen products. This is true for both semi-finished products as well as end products. The industrial stakeholders in this partnership will be the first to apply these insights to demonstrate their benefits.
This will increase the visibility of the positive aspects of frozen products:
Improved freezing and storage processes ensure a reduction in energy consumption in this sector.