Feasibility Study of the Design and Fabrication of Ohmic Heating (OH) Equipment in Food Sterilization and Food Essences Extraction

ashrafProject Title:  Feasibility Study of the Design and Fabrication of Ohmic Heating (OH) Equipment in Food Sterilization and Food Essences Extraction

Research ID:  2/2016/05

Principal Researcher:  Ashraf A. Razak

Co-Researchers:  Dr Mohd Zahid Abidin, Dr. A. Razak Yaacob, Suzy Rini

Project Start Date:  6/1/2016

Duration of Project:  24 months

Research Summary:  Food preservation is one of the most critical aspects in the industrial food processing. Prolonged shelf life of food products is highly desired to increase its viability in the market. The shelf life of a food product varied with its material contents and composition of the processed foods. One of the most prevalent causes of food spoilage in processed foods is due to microbial contamination. Ohmic heating (OH) has recently regained interests in food processing and sterilization. This alternative thermal processing utilizes the flow of electricity to heat the product via passage of a direct current through its material. The electrical resistance of the food material causes the directed current to be converted into energy which in turn resulted in the heating of the food product. The process is also considered to be faster in term of its heating rate when compared to conventional heating or induction heating. This paper aims to study the feasibility of using a batch OH process to induce a complete microbial inactivation of a suspended solid-fluid food product. An OH equipment will be designed and fabricated using specific materials based on the desired food products specification and process parameters. Furthermore, a conceptual study on food extraction of a raw food material will be conducted simultaneously using the fully designed batch OH process. The product output of the OH processing will be tested for microbial inactivity as well as sterility for a duration of time. The data can be used to determine the feasibility of using OH in prolonging a certain type of food products that are available in the market. In addition to that, the side investigation of studying the feasibility of food extraction using OH process can also be determined.