New technology could allow cooked food to retain its flavour, texture and nutritional value after two years on the shelf
Spotted: What if food could be stored and shipped at room temperature, without preservatives? That is the goal of startup Ixon Food Technology. The company has developed a technology called sous-vide aseptic packaging that can sterilise food products at low temperatures, using a microwave-assisted thermal sterilisation process.
Ixon actually uses a variety of methods for sterilising food products. The packaging is sterilised using peroxide of peracetic acid. Liquids components are treated using a retort method, while a sous-vide style system is used to sterilise solid components. This applies high temperatures to only the outside surface of the foods, while the interior remains at lower temperatures.
Finally, all the components are combined in an aseptic environment at a higher temperature. The result is that the food tastes as if it were cooked normally. Because foods are not exposed to temperatures higher than 121c, they retain all of their nutrients, taste and texture. The company claims that its food products will be able to be stored safely at room temperature for 12 months.
Ixon plans to launch some products, including grilled sirloin steak and pork chops, on Kickstarter this autumn. According to Ixon founder and CEO Felix Cheung, “Our ASAP technology … allows food manufacturers to create shelf-stable packaged food with unprecedented taste, organoleptic qualities, as well as exceptional nutritional value.”
Innovation in food is not only about convenience. It is increasingly important to reduce the environmental footprint of food production, mainly through waste production. Other innovations in food manufacture covered by Springwise include 3D-printed food and edible preservatives.
Written By: Lisa Magloff