Food pasteurization: ENEA develops green prototype to reduce time and costs
A prototype with low environmental impact for food pasteurization in small-sized plants, which can reduce energy costs by 42% during the whole process, has been recently developed by ENEA-Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development.
The pasteurization process, which removes pathogens found in food products including milk, bear, wine, fruit juices, includes three phases: heating – in which food products are kept for 15-30 minutes at temperatures up to 85 °C – cooling and conservation of the food mix.
The innovative PA.CO2 (PAsteurization with CO2) prototype developed by ENEA uses carbon dioxide as the refrigerant and a heat pump to heat and cool the treated fluid. Moreover, the device has an innovative control system that optimizes the thermodynamic cycle making the entire pasteurization process more efficient, with an overall energy saving of more than 3 kWh per each cycle. “The fluid used can reach temperatures considerably higher than those obtained with traditional technologies, thus performing pasteurization with much shorter time and lower energy consumption”, said Luca Saraceno, ENEA researcher.