FCHR - Fluid Foods Pasteurizer and Homogenizer based on Centrifugal Hydrocavitation Reactor

In FCHR project we propose the implementation of an integrated pasteurizer and homogenizer for fluid foods based on an alternative approach induced only by mechanical means: controlled hydrodynamic cavitation, which consists in the generation of huge amounts of energy in the form of shock waves, due to the turbulence produced in a fluid by pressure fluctuations.

Our main scope is that of increasing the competitiveness of fluid food producers thanks to process intensification and energy efficiency while maintaining the integrity of food nutritional and flavour attributes.

As a conclusion of the first period of the project, we are proud to announce that the preliminary FCHR prototype for laboratory tests on the microbiological and chemical/physical properties of the processed food has been designed and implemented.

This R&D activity carried out in the first 9 months of the project implementation was supported by the parallel work of the Italian RTD performer UTV (Università degli studi di Roma Tor Vergata), which developed a numerical model for simulating the fluid-dynamics inside the reactor, and a parametric 3D model of the conceptual geometrical features of the reactor.

This allowed the Consortium to adapt the existing designs available to the Project Coordinator Wixta, taking into account the specifications setup with the industrial partners at the very beginning of the project.

This led to a new, food-oriented design of the reactor constituting the core of the prototype.

The prototype, assembled and pre-tested by the Italian performer LABOR, is now placed in Cork, at the School of Food and Nutritional Science Department of the University College, where the RTD performer UCC will carry out preliminary tests on milk and juices.

The main objective of the tests sessions which are currently under development in Cork is that of trying different operative conditions for the pasteurization and homogenization process and to acquire information from the analyses potentially guiding the design of the final FCHR prototype, expected at the end of the project.

The tests will also permit to perform evaluations on the FCHR machine efficiency in processing high protein and high viscosity fluid foods, and to assess this innovative technology both from a technical and en economical point of view.

From June 2013 on, the FCHR Consortium will be involved in a continuative tests activity, supporting and driving the final design of the reactor which is expected in February 2014, together with the simulation work that will suggest modifications or improvements of the reactor shape and geometry enhancing the pasteurization and homogenization processes for different types of fluid foods.

Our promotional activity of the project results will intensify, and we, as a Consortium, will attend several national and international events of relevance in the food processing sector, where more details concerning the FCHR technology and equipment will be available, and you will have the chance to speak with us and request material on the project.