22 December 2020

Ultrasound used to improve shelf-life of fresh fruit and vegetables

Ultrasound used to improve shelf-life of fresh fruit and vegetables

An ultrasound device used in the project

ABOVE: The state-of-the-art device being used for the project

State-of-the-art ultrasound technology is being used by food scientists at Abertay University in a bid to significantly boost the shelf-life and quality of fruit juice and smoothies.

The ultrasound machine has been procured by the University as part of the ground-breaking €6million HORIZON 2020 Shealthy project which is assessing the effectiveness of new technologies in improving the nutritional value of fresh fruit and vegetables.

It’s believed to be the first device of its kind in Scotland, and it can also be used to reduce and re-utilise food waste by extracting bioactive compounds from things like orange peel and apple pomace.

Dr Adilia Lemos, from Abertay’s Division of Engineering and Food Science, said: “The most common food preservation technique is pasteurisation which, while being effective, uses high temperatures meaning it affects quality.

“Ultrasound technology, on the other hand, does not. In this case it may mean that we are able to produce healthier fruit juice and smoothies.

“The machine is very efficient, and we hope the findings of our research will have a significant and positive impact on shoppers in the near future.”

ABOVE: Dr Adilia Lemos

Shealthy is scheduled to run for four years and involves 21 partner institutes from across Europe including other universities, consumer groups and research centres.

Abertay is the only UK institute involved in the project.

Dr Lemos added: “The ultrasound device has been produced by Hielscher, one of the world leaders in that field, and we are very excited to have access to it on campus.

“Abertay’s involvement in this international project demonstrates the quality of work and research conducted by our Food scientists and our contribution to the industry, and we believe that it has the potential to make a genuine impact on the quality of food we eat.”

Abertay’s Engineering and Food Science Division has strong links with the food and drink industry, and the expertise of the university’s academic staff is highly sought after by industry and the academic community.

The Division’s programmes are designed so that students have an excellent practical grounding and are able to gain real experience of working in their chosen sectors.

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