Low-energy freezing technology keeps food fresh without forming ice

The typical freezers identified houses and dining establishments play an a must have function in preserving foods right until they are prepared to be eaten, but an different technology guarantees to not only use far less energy, but improve meals high-quality at the very same time. Known as isochoric freezing, the method was initially created to cryopreserve tissues and organs for transplants, but experts have just lately begun exploring how it could be extensively adopted for foodstuff storage, and a new examine has laid bare the large strength financial savings to be reaped if we do.

Isochoric freezing was originally produced by Boris Rubinsky at the College of California, Berkely, who explained the thermodynamic rules in a research printed in 2005. The notion was to enhance the viability of tissues and organs for transplantation by preventing the formation of hazardous ice crystals for the duration of their preservation, which injury the biological components and limit the good results of these processes.

Standard freezing depends on exposing an object to the air and temperatures of °C (32 °F), which sees them freeze solid. Isochoric freezing, in the meantime, entails inserting the object in a closed chamber, normally designed of challenging plastic or metal, and immersing it in liquid inside of. As the chamber is cooled down to a preset temperature, the liquid guards the submersed item from ice crystallization and far better preserves its qualities.

“Power financial savings appear from not having to freeze meals completely stable, which employs a massive volume of power, furthermore there is no need to resort to power-intensive cold storage protocols this kind of as swift freezing to prevent ice crystal development,” says study writer Cristina Bilbao-Sainz.

This strategy of applying isochoric freezing for meals preservation has been explored as a result of experiments applying the know-how to tomatoes, potatoes, and other foodstuff that you should not tend to cope properly with the common freezing approach. With no ice destruction to contend with, the tomatoes maintained improved mass, form, volume and colour, and the potatoes underwent no excess weight decline and significantly less browning. Other scientific tests counsel isochoric freezing can also eliminate dangerous germs.

The freshly published analyze, carried out by Rubinsky, Bilbao-Sainz and researchers at the US Division of Agriculture and College of California, Berkeley, looks at the effect isochoric freezing could have on the world chilly foodstuff chain. Storing frozen meals under isochoric freezing circumstances in its place of standard isobaric disorders could not only boost their high quality and permit preservation of contemporary meals like tomatoes, potatoes and even leafy greens, but also save monumental quantities of power.

“A finish adjust above to this new technique of food items freezing around the globe could slice power use by as significantly as 6.5 billion kilowatt-several hours just about every yr whilst reducing the carbon emissions that go alongside with making that energy by 4.6 billion kg (10.1 billion lb), the equal of eradicating approximately one particular million cars from roads,” claims Bilbao-Sainz. “These personal savings could be accomplished with no necessitating any substantial improvements in existing frozen food manufacturing machines and infrastructure, if meals producers undertake this strategy.”

Cristina Bilbao-Sainz (right) and food research Roberto Avena-Bustillos with isochoric freezing chambers

Cristina Bilbao-Sainz (correct) and food stuff investigate Roberto Avena-Bustillos with isochoric freezing chambers

US Office of Agriculture

The gear needed for isochoric freezing is neither difficult nor terribly pricey. The chambers made use of in investigate projects have been built from thick-walled stainless metal, but could also be produced from lighter components like plastic or carbon fiber composites, so lengthy as the partitions are rigid. These specialized chambers could then be placed in regular freezers in industrial settings or even houses, incorporating isochoric features to an if not standard kitchen area setup.

“The complete foodstuff generation chain could use isochoric freezing – all people from growers to meals processors, product producers to wholesalers, to stores,” says examine author Tara McHugh. “The procedure will even function in a person’s freezer at home following they purchase a product or service – all with no necessitating any significant investments in new devices. With all of the several prospective benefits, if this progressive principle catches on, it could be the future revolution in freezing meals.”

The review was revealed in the journal Renewable Sustainable Energy Critiques.

Supply: US Section of Agriculture