Superchilling to improve quality and shelf-life
Members have voted for a new project on superchilling for improved product shelf-life and quality. Previous work has demonstrated its considerable potential. ‘Superchill’ is used to define the temperature at which a product starts to freeze, generally around -2°C, when it contains some ice and some liquid water. This partial freezing dramatically reduces the rate of microbiological and chemical spoilage, and extends the shelf-life compared to a conventionally chilled product.
A previous collaborative research project into storage of food at ‘superchill’ temperatures showed that some foods can be stored at approximately -2°C for extended periods before release into the chill chain, with minimal impact on either microbiological or sensory shelf-life. It can also help supply chain management and reduce wastage.
Project Manager Greg Jones would be delighted to hear from members who would like to discuss opportunities for use with their products. The product range will be expanded significantly beyond that explored previously, to include more seafood, fish, meat and ready meals.
The project will provide manufacturers and retailers with clear evidence of which products could benefit most from use of superchilling. The project will also examine superchilling as a single hurdle in a multiple hurdle system, to establish if longer life extensions could be obtained within such systems.