Elea, the market leader in Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) systems for the food industry, hosted the 1st ever Elea PEF Advantage at their headquarters in Quakenbrueck, Germany.
The event included three days of talks, insights and demonstrations about Pulsed Electric Field in the food industry with the added bonus of a world record attempt.
In front of a large and enthusiastic crowd Elea attempted to fry the world longest French fry.
Elea R&D and engineering staff gave live demos including juice and snacks processing, drying and extraction improvement as well as a demonstration of industrial scale systems and process monitoring options.
Cutting the worlds longest french fry
On the second day of the event, in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd, Elea attempted to fry the world longest French fry.
Cut in one piece from a single potato and reaching 314 cm in length the world record attempt was conceived as a way of demonstrating PEF’s remarkable and transformative effects on food and potato processing in particular
The record length for a french fry cut from a single potato was set at 314 cm
Both attempts were only made possible by PEF and now in the processes to officially be registered.
The event highlighted Elea PEF benefits in various industry sectors, including reduced energy and water usage and well as improved product quality.
Presentations by PEF experts
Elea invited world leading experts to present latest developments and current research activities:
- Stefan Toepfl, Managing Director of Elea has given an overview of current and future PEF applications in food and biobased processing industry. Currently more than 130 industrial scale PEF systems are installed, mainly in potato and juice processing but current research and application development is broadening the scope of applications towards other products such as dairy, pulses and nuts, tea as well as algae.
- Jimmy Kinsella, Engineering Manager of Elea has introduced the range of Elea PEF Advantage systems for solid and liquid products, including the all new PEF Advantage Pipe One small scale liquids system and PEF Pilot Dual, a versatile unit for R&D and test setups. His talk has been followed by a discussion on technical and operator training requirements.
- Sergiy Smetana, Head of the Food Data Group at DIL, has presented on sustainability impact of PEF use in potato and juice industry. By life cycle analysis a 90 % saving potential for thermal energy and water saving in comparison to conventional preheating has been shown for French Fries processing. In juice industry the techniques benefit has been found in producing premium quality products at low energy requirement and reduced retail waste.
- Brian Mayer, Process Specialist at Tayto has discussed benefits of PEF after implementation into their Scunthorpe facility producing potato chips. Elea PEF use resulted in improved slicing and a yield increase of 1 – 2 %, a 10 % reduced oil uptake. Reduced starch losses make the product more crunchy, a lower frying time and temperature allow better product color and quality.
- Javier Raso, Professor at University of Zaragoza, has presented on public funded and industrial projects in the area of wine processing. Increased extraction of anthocyanins and polyphenols, ageing on lees and fermentation control have been have shown to be commercially viable PEF applications in that industry sector. At present an industrial scale test is conducted in cooperation of Elea and Zaragoza University.
- Jim Gratzek of Food Physics presented ongoing research work on validation of PEF use in juice industry with a focus on the North American market. PEF has shown to result in superior product quality, dependent on treatment intensity product shelf live ranges from 4 – 12 weeks. Studies are performed on inactivation of relevant pathogens and surrogates. For juice HACCP/HARPC process monitoring options are available.
- Kemal Aganovic, Advanced Research Manager at DIL has given an overview of upcoming process options as a tool for product development. Current research activities of DIL include use of electric field based technologies, static or dynamic pressure use or process automation. DIL is available to Elea and its clients as a research partner and toll processing center.
Pulsed Electric Field Demonstrations
Elea PEF experts have set up six different demo activities allowing the participants to receive hands on experience.
The snacks demo has shown the potential to improve cutting of potato and vegetable chips after PEF treatment and its potential to increase product yield and quality.
Various fried snacks (vegetables, fruit) have been manufactured and tasted by the participants.
Elea has developed two process monitoring tools, Cut Control for characterizing PEF impact on textural and cutting properties and PEF Control to measure cell disintegration and release of intracellular liquids. In Elea´s equipment showroom the range of Elea PEF Advantage systems has been exhibited.
Making plant cell electroporation and PEF impact on product structure visible the demos have shown the real-life application potential of Elea PEF technology.
The discussions with participants have resulted in a number of new application ideas which the Elea team will follow up in cooperation with our clients and partners.
If you were unable to participate in the Elea PEF Advantage Days, you can get in touch with Elea to arrange an opportunity to test PEF application for your own product.