Application Prospect of Microwave Equipment in Food Processing Industry

- May 07, 2019 -

Although microwave equipment has been widely used in food processing industry in China, there are more low-power microwave equipment and a few large enterprises need high-power microwave drying and sterilization equipment. In China, the research on microwave drying of food is lagging behind. Because of the characteristics of microwave drying and cooking, the color, flavor and packaging of microwave-dried food should be solved first in the development of microwave-dried food. For this reason, a lot of work needs to be done, and the relevant departments attach great importance to it. Moreover, China is a developing country with a large population. Food industry plays an important role in the national economy. The huge consumer has provided a broad potential market for the development of microwave food. Only by accelerating the pace of research and development can the application of microwave energy achieve greater economic and social benefits. The following points should be made clear in the study of microwave drying:

1. Although microwave drying is widely used, not all foods that need to be dried can be dried by microwave equipment;

2. Microwave drying food must take into account its economic benefits and make full use of the advantages of different drying processes to optimize the combination;

3. Microwave drying equipment is non-standard equipment and has been customized. The process must be closely integrated with the research of product processing technology. Hot air drying is not an environmentally friendly operation nowadays. Carbon dioxide produced by the combustion of fossil fuels is the main component of the so-called "green room effect". Based on these considerations, the general objective of current drying is to "remove liquids (usually water) at the fastest rate and have the least negative impact on the product; not to destroy the environment and invest the lowest funds and operating costs". Therefore, the practical engineering strategy in this field is to explore and consider the drying process of various scales, from millions (from economic and environmental considerations) to micro (material properties). It is also pointed out whether convection, conduction and microwave drying can be combined. Food drying should also be studied for this purpose. Microwave drying as a new technology is in line with such development requirements. At present, there are many kinds of food products successfully dried by microwave, which can be roughly divided into fruits and vegetables, meat products, medicinal materials, rice noodles, beverages, agricultural and sideline native products, etc.

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