The technology prevents nutrient loss by hindering ice crystal formation
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Spotted: Food waste is an ongoing challenge at every stage of the production and consumption processes, involving producers, businesses, individuals, and communities. Far too much food is thrown away because it spoils before it is cooked and eaten, and food with freezer burn too often looks and tastes unappetising. A new supercooling technology could help reduce such waste by cooling food to safe temperatures without losing colour, flavour, or texture.
The EverCase process prevents the formation of ice crystals in supercooled food. It is based on nine years of research and development by Professor Soojin Jun at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. When ice crystals melt, nutrients leach out of the food. The new system works by using a combination of electric and magnetic fields to bring the temperature of food to below zero degrees Celsius without allowing the slowed-down water molecules within the produce to form ice. Lab tests show steak and salmon fillets emerging from the EverCase system with no changes in texture or colour.
EverCase has gone through an extensive testing phase – developing 20 different prototype devices. However, the startup is now ready to go to market and is exploring custom systems for its first customers. Once the technology is scaled up it could be especially useful for shippers and food producers.
Refrigeration is an unglamorous but extremely important topic. Finding methods for preserving food and medicines through the use of renewable energy sources is crucial in building up the capabilities of communities that are off-grid or far away from urban resource hubs. Springwise has spotted solar energy being used to power refrigerators and industrial refrigerated trucks.
Written by: Keely Khoury