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Windhab, Erich Josef
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The “SpeeDrying” project aims to widen the competence and skills of a young researcher, Dr. Malafronte, by advanced training at one of the most innovative food engineering groups located at ETH - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich, Switzerland, under the supervision of Prof. Windhab. The training aims to further develop the research skill of the fellow, as well as her personal, technical and entrepreneurship skills. The research project is built on knowledge developed by Dr. Malafronte during her PhD work, which was finalized in November 2015. The project aims to develop a flexible and sustainable process for the production of functional powders from a complex multiphase liquid feed. The most used industrial process for producing powders from a liquid feed is spray drying. This process consists of atomizing a liquid into a drying chamber through a flow of hot-air (convective drying method). Its major advantages are good control of powder particle size and moisture content, handling heat sensitive product and high throughput. However, the control of the spray drying process itself is a challenging task. The unique characteristics of the liquid feed (rheology, hygroscopicity, multiphase stability/separation characteristics) demand unique operating conditions and flexible equipment to achieve desired properties of the final powder product (i.e. stability, wettability, flowability). Furthermore, spray drying is an energy-intensive operation. These draw-backs are due to its low thermal efficiency, which causes long drying time and consequently large volume of the drying chamber. Electromagnetically induced drying (i.e. microwave and infrared) enables more rapid heating of the product with significantly reduced energy consumption. It promotes expulsion of inner water to the surface, and it allows selective heating of the materials depending on the local water content, preventing damage to the surface and to the already dry area. Combination of convective and electromagnetically induced drying has demonstrated improved flexibility and possibility to enhance product properties, but so far, the integration of electromagnetic heating in spray drying has not been explored. The research goal of this project is to improve thermal efficiency of the spray drying process by superimposing convective and electromagnetically induced heating. A tailor processing approach, developed by the main supervisor at ETH, will be applied to extract Process-Structure Functions (PSF) and Structure-Property Functions (SPF) from the molecular- to macro-scale during electromagnetically assisted spray-drying. Such an improvement is expected to enable technological advancement leading to significantly better adjustable and sustainable spray drying processes Show more
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SubjectSpeeDrying; spray drying; food processing; dairy
Organisational unit03345 - Windhab, Erich Josef
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