Plants & Instruments


Control of modified atmosphere packaging of fruit and vegetables (patented device BLOW®)

BLOW® is a patented device (see details at PCT/IB2016/0506600) for controlling gaseous exchanges between the inside and outside of a package for solid or liquid food products. The device has been fully characterized, by fluid-dynamic point of view, in a publication appeared in Postharvest Biology and Technology volume 138 of April 2018. (Characterization of an innovative device controlling gaseous exchange in packages for food products). The device is especially suitable for fresh fruit and vegetable preservation during cold storage, as it allows for the management of the headspace atmosphere inside sealed packages containing food products presenting metabolic activity.

The main body of the device is a disc-shaped plate and comprises a lower circular wall, an upper circular wall and a side wall, furthermore it has a flat face intended to be attached to the container.

The device is applied to the container so that its capillary duct is operatively connected, communicating with the inside of the container. In this manner the capillary duct permits to exert a resistant action to the gaseous exchange between the inside and the outside of the container. Such resistant action increases as the transversal cross-section of the capillary duct decreases and increases as the length of the capillary duct increases.

Thus the device makes it possible to place the modified atmosphere, inside the container, in communication with the outside, so adjusting the gaseous exchanges over time, depending on the characteristics of the packaged food product, using the pressure variations naturally created in the controlled temperature storage environment, typical of the cold chain (cold rooms, vehicles or refrigerated containers, refrigerated distribution and household refrigerators).

Currently, it has been successfully tested with rocket leaves, pomegranate’s arils, pomegranate whole fruits and organic table grapes.


Custom measuring system for gas permeability


Cold storage rooms

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Fast Gas chromatograph (Fast GC)

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Filtration

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Gas measurement (CO2, O2, O3, SO2, C2H4)

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Low pressure & Low temperature thermal concentration

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Low pressure distillation

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Lyophilisation

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Microwave treatments

This device allows the MW treatments of foodstuffs at various power of MW, in addition it can control the product temperature, varying the MW power, by a simple proportional-integral feedback control system (using LabView™ software).

A simple motorized Variac allows to control the generated MW power by a “servo” and an Arduino board communicating over RS232 serial line transmitting the requested percent rotation of the Variac. The Variac changes the voltage of the primary of the magnetron high-voltage transformer.

The temperature is measured using an optically focalized infrared radiation thermocouple (K-type).


Olive oil final separator (patented device ROTASED)

Patented ROTASED separator

ROTASED® is a patented device acting as olive oil final separator. Some preliminary results, testing this innovative separator [S] with a traditional disc-stack centrifuge [C], they show that the deleterious effect of disc-stack centrifuge it is dramatically evident with regard to Peroxide, Carotenoid, Chlorophyll, K232 and K270.

As expected, when using the disc-stack centrifuge [C], Turbidity and Water content show lower values with respect to innovative separator [S].


Pasteurization and/or sterilization treatments

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Pilot scale control system using a spectrophotometer

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Pre-cooling and cooling treatments

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Reverse osmosis

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Rheological tests

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Soxhlet extractor

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Spray drying using a pilot scale spray dryer (5 L/h evaporated water)

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Spray drying using an enhanced Lab spray dryer (0.5-1.0 L/h evaporated water)


Ultrafiltration

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UV, VIS and NIR spectrophotometers

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