Cooking in food industry
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Cooking and boiling are heat processing techniques applied to foodstuffs to alter the texture, colour and moisture content of the food, or to facilitate other later processes (BAT in the Food, Drink and Milk Industries, June 2005).
2. FIELD OF APPLICATION
Cooking and boiling are applied on an industrial scale for the preparation of ready-to-eat products, in the preparation of complete meals, for meal components (such as in various meat products or through heating of the foodstuffs in processing (BAT in the Food, Drink and Milk Industries, June 2005).
3. DESCRIPTION OF TECHNIQUES, METHODS AND EQUIPMENT
- Types of cooking equipment
- (BAT in the Food, Drink and Milk Industries, June 2005)
Cooking is carried out in ovens. There are several different types of ovens: water bath, shower, steam and air/steam circulation.
- Water bath ovens:
- Water bath ovens allow the best homogeneity of heating to be obtained. The immersion in hot water causes weight loss, and results in proteins and greases being released into the water.
- Shower ovens:
- Shower ovens allow a good uniformity of heating and include the simultaneous action of water sent through the showers and the saturated steam which rises from the collecting basin, at the bottom of the oven, which is heated, in turn, by coils.
- Steam ovens:
- In steam ovens, the water shower is eliminated and any heating is due only to the steam produced in the collection basin.
- Air/steam circulation ovens:
- Air ovens include, when it is necessary to control surface humidity, steam inlet and a recirculation of hot air which is obtained by passage through heat-exchangers. Boiling is carried out by immersion in water at boiling temperature. In beer production, wort is boiled for about 1.5 hours in the wort kettle with hops or hop extracts, releasing bitter substances that are dissolved. A further aim of the wort boiling is the inactivation of all enzymes, sterilisation of the wort and concentration thereof.
4. COMPETITIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND ENERGY SAVING POTENTIALS
- a) Changes in the process
- Use of microwave ovens: (BAT in the Food, Drink and Milk Industries, June 2005)
- In a microwave oven the food is heated by passing microwaves through it. The resulting generation of heat inside the food facilitates rapid cooking and reduces the need for water and energy.
- Hot air ovens: (BAT in the Food, Drink and Milk Industries, June 2005)
- Hot air ovens include a recalculation system for hot air, which is obtained by passage through heat exchangers, and a steam inlet to control food surface humidity. Hot air ovens distribute heat more evenly than other ovens, so cooking time and cooking temperatures can be reduced, thereby cutting energy consumption.
- The circumstances which enable precooking to be avoided depend on the factors such as the size of food pieces, the size of the cans, bottles and jars, the recipe, ensuring the quality of the product and the length of the sterilization time.
- Avoid cooking prior to preservation in cans, bottles and jars if the food can be cooked during sterilization: (BAT in the Food, Drink and Milk Industries, June 2005)
- Before preservation in cans, bottles and jars the food can be cooked before it is placed into the packaging container. Water bath, shower, steam, hot air and microwave ovens are used for such precooking. Precooking can be avoided if the food can be cooked subsequently during sterilization. That will lead to reduced water and energy consumption.
- b) Changes in the energy distribution system
- Re-use of waste streams: (BAT in the Food, Drink and Milk Industries, June 2005)
- Hot water or steam waste streams that preserve good hygiene and quality characteristics can be used for boiling and cooking food products. In this way, water and energy consumption can be reduced.
- c) Changes in the heat supply system
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