Scientists at the University of Lincoln in the U.K. have determined that a technique called steam infusion could reduce the energy consumption of the food and beverage manufacturing sector.

According to the team’s findings, steam infusion — which is a process of direct-contact heating wherein steam condenses on the surface of a pumpable food product — could reduce energy consumption in the food and beverage manufacturing industry by an estimated 17%. This, according to researchers, could mean a 9 ton reduction in greenhouse gas emissions each year, per production line.

Source: University of LincolnSource: University of Lincoln

Dr. Wayne Martindale, associate professor, Enterprise & Food Insights and Sustainability at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing at the University of Lincoln and lead author of the study, said: "This is a world first in terms of looking into the sustainability benefits of technologies like steam infusion. The most energy intensive parts of food manufacturing facilities are often heating operations so it's exciting to see how steam infusion can help to reduce the impact of the industry. In this report, we connect a manufacturing innovation to consumer experience and improved product quality with greater sustainability credentials—a win for manufacturers and consumers alike."

The research "Transformational Steam Infusion Processing for Resilient and Sustainable Food Manufacturing Businesses," is published in the journal Foods.

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