Elea Shows off PEF Advantages at Dedicated Event
Elea recently hosted the first ever Elea PEF Advantage event at their headquarters in Quakenbrueck, Germany. The meeting included three days of talks, insights and demonstrations about Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) in the food industry, and an attempt to break a world record.
Experts and PEF users from around the globe came and offered insightful talks on PEF, from PEF processing in the chip industry, sustainable benefits of PEF, PEF processing benefits and many more.
Speakers included Dr. Stefan Teopfl, managing director of Elea, who gave 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.
Moreover, Sergiy Smetana, head of the Food Data Group at DIL, presented the sustainable impact of PEF use in the potato 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.
Additionally, Brian Mayer, process specialist at Tayto, discussed benefits of PEF after implementation into the Scunthrope facility producing potato chips. Elea PEF use resulted in improved slicing and yield increase of 1-2% and a 10% reduced oil intake. Reduced starch losses make the product crunchier, while a lower frying time and temperature allow better product color and quality.
Elea R&D and engineering staff gave live demos, including snacks processing, drying and extraction improvement, as well as a demonstration or industrial scale systems and process monitoring options.
On the second day of the event, Elea attempted to fry the world’s largest French fry, cut in one piece from a single potato and reaching 347cm. Both attempts were made possible by PEF and are now in the process to officially be registered.
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.
PEF also has a significant impact on drying time and quality of (freeze) dried products – the demo has shown product samples and application ideas for snacks or dairy products. Moreover, 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.