TNO has developed a drying technology that requires less energy to remove the moisture from food, and boosts the capacity of existing driers.
The result of an EET research project (Dutch Economy, Ecology, Technology project), which TNO worked on with HB Drying Systems, Hosokawa, Kievit (Friesland Foods), Unifine and Wageningen University, the adsorption dryer technology reduces energy consumption, yet ensures that the organoleptic qualities of products are retained.
According to TNO, the system works by conditioning the dry air sucked in from the environment (which has a varying moisture content) and by generating dry air that has a constant moisture content and constant temperature.
Attached to an existing dryer, it improves the dryer capacity and production yield. In addition, the energy extracted from the warm, moist air can be reused in the adsorption process, said TNO, thereby reducing the energy consumption still further. Extracted moisture is no longer transported away from the plant as water vapour but as liquid water.
The pilot system has already been installed at the food ingredient company, Friesland Foods Kievit, where it’s connected to equipment that’s used to make products that are susceptible to temperature and oxidation.
In February 2009, the pilot installation will be transported to the spice producer, Unifine, where it will be used to recirculate the drying air, enabling the expensive aromas and flavourings of the spices to be retained.
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