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Microwave technology for food processing

Industrial Microwave Systems, L.L.C., the producer of patented microwave systems, announces the first commercial process licensing and installation of its Cylindrical Heating System. This system, developed by IMS, employs an aseptic process created through the joint efforts of IMS, North Carolina State University Department of Food Science, and the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (South Atlantic Area).

This new microwave technology, which features a unique, ultra-rapid method of heating aseptic and extended shelf life pumpable food products in a tube, has been installed for Yamco, L.L.C., a North Carolina company. Yamco will officially open a new food manufacturing facility on 26 March, 2008, and showcase this technology for the processing of low acid sweet potatoes.

The IMS Cylindrical Heating System enables liquid, semi-liquid, and pumpable foods and beverages to be uniformly and volumetrically heated on a continuous flow basis while pumped through a tube. The patented technology employed by the IMS cylindrical heater provides uniform spatial and temporal delivery of high-intensity thermal energy to the flowing components, solving the problem of ‘hot spots’ in traditional thermal processing technology.

This results in benefits that allow manufacturers currently using conventional heat exchangers an opportunity to greatly improve product quality while reducing floor space and increasing operational efficiency.

For Yamco, the installation of the IMS Cylindrical Heating System will enable it to produce a superior, nutrient-rich, shelf-stable sweet potato product that can be sold as a premium food ingredient for use in products such as baked goods, nutraceuticals, and infant formulations. Because the pumpable food product is heated so quickly and evenly, the unique thermal process allows for ultra-rapid sterilization with minimal product degradation.

Extensive testing of the heating system and process at North Carolina State University has ensured the delivery of an aseptic sweet potato puree that exhibits maximal nutrient and colour retention and minimal flavour loss. The capability of producing such a superior sweet potato product presents an advantageous opportunity for North Carolina farmers, who account for 40% of the United States’ annual sweet potato production.

A joint U.S. patent for the ultra-rapid heating process has been filed by IMS, North Carolina State University, and the USDA. The three parties worked together to test and develop the total aseptic process and packaging system. When issued, the patent, as it pertains to sweet potato puree processing, will be exclusively licensed to Yamco.

For more information about the Cylindrical Heating System and other innovative microwave technologies for industrial use,

email info@industrialmicrowave.com

or visit www.industrialmicrowave.com

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