Special Issue "Innovation and Optimization of Agro-Food Industry"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Engineering and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (24 March 2023) | Viewed by 2815

Special Issue Editors

Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Via Amendola 165/A, 70126 Bari, Italy
Interests: deals with the innovation and optimization of agro-food industry equipment and plants, design of the food pilot plants and their implementation in the industrial environmental; sensors and real time process control; processes settings; influence of the machine design parameters on food quality; other scientific targets are the waste management; composting systems, harvesting mechanization system and harvesting machine
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science (DiSAAT), University of Bari Aldo Moro, Via Amendola 165/A, 70126 Bari, Italy
Interests: deals with theoretical and practical topics relating to agricultural machinery (i.e. precision farming machines), food plants and their safe use in the workplace; the research developed has been the result of the interaction with research institutes and manufacturers companies of machinery for the agro-industry, which enabled the development of many precompetitive prototypes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The development, in recent years, of the agri–food sector, has been assisted by technological innovation. The implementation of new scientific and technological knowledge, and its applications in production, transformation and conservation processes, favors the growth of the food sector.

Starting from the needs and problems encountered in the agri–food and industry sectors, numerous research studies to improve the processes of collection, storage, transformation and packaging of products have the opportunity to establish themselves, showing and consolidating innovative technologies and processes. The focus is on technologies for monitoring and evaluating products in the field before harvesting, with image analysis, technologies for product preservation (post-harvest) based on physical and non-chemical principles, new harvesting techniques functional to a reduction in time and improvement of product quality, and new techniques to be implemented in production processes for product transformation, such as heat exchangers, microwaves, pulsed electric fields and ultrasounds.

In addition to technological improvements to increase product performance and quality, the sustainability of the process is also of considerable interest for the evolution of equipment and systems. Circular processes that re-use, re-purpose and recycle natural resources, and reduce waste and environmental impact, need to be developed.

All production processes, including those in the food sector, must increasingly focus on digitization and artificial-intelligence-driven technologies to increase production efficiency and flexibility (industry 4.0) and provide a different focus and emphasize the importance of research and innovation to support industry in its long-term service to humanity within planetary boundaries (industry 5.0).

The objective in this Special Issue of Foods is the publication of innovative, original and avant-garde techniques and technologies in order to better communicate the evolution of plants and equipment, as well as exploring topics such as the ecological transition of the sector to the implementation of industry-4.0-enabling technologies and the new vision of industry 5.0. These multi- and interdisciplinary publications will also demonstrate the possibility of guaranteeing a circular economy with the recovery of by-products.

Prof. Dr. Antonia Tamborrino
Prof. Dr. Alessandro Leone
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • olive oil extraction equipment
  • unit operations equipment
  • microwave
  • ultrasound
  • PEF
  • innovation
  • Industry 4.0
  • Industry 5.0
  • sustainability
  • olive oil by-products

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Experimental Investigation of a New Modular Crusher Machine Developed for Olive Oil Extraction Plants
Foods 2022, 11(19), 3035; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11193035 - 30 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1594
Abstract
The crushing system is crucial in the virgin olive oil (VOO) mechanical extraction process. The use of different crusher machines can highly influence the quality of the final product, mainly due to the phenolic and volatile content responsible for VOO sensory and health [...] Read more.
The crushing system is crucial in the virgin olive oil (VOO) mechanical extraction process. The use of different crusher machines can highly influence the quality of the final product, mainly due to the phenolic and volatile content responsible for VOO sensory and health properties. An experimental investigation was conducted to evaluate the effect of the geometric features of a new model of crusher machine for olives. The crusher machine consists of interchangeable rotors: a rotor with hammers and a rotor with knives. The evaluation was carried out with the same fixed grid in stainless steel with 6 mm diameter circular holes. An evaluation was carried out on the impact of the crusher tools on the pit particle size and on the distribution of energy and temperature. The performance of the plant was also assessed in terms of process efficiency and olive oil quality. The results showed that the specific energy released by the tool per unit of product, calculated through both energy conservation and comminution theory, is about 25–27% higher in the case of hammers. Since the impact energy is mainly dissipated in the product as heat, the temperature reached during milling operations with the hammer crusher was also higher by the same percentage with respect to the knife crusher. This has important consequences on the quality of the product: the new knife rotor used in the crushing phase produced an improvement in VOO quality, relating mainly to sensory attributes and the health-enhancing properties of the final product. The ability of the crusher to break cell walls and vacuoles, thus releasing the oil contained therein, is comparable for the two different rotors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation and Optimization of Agro-Food Industry)
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Article
Investigation on the Effects of a Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) Continuous System Implemented in an Industrial Olive Oil Plant
Foods 2022, 11(18), 2758; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11182758 - 08 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 890
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate how the treatment of olive paste of the Picholine variety with pulsed electric fields (PEF) under real operating conditions in a large-scale olive oil extraction plant affects the extractability, chemical composition and sensory profile of [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate how the treatment of olive paste of the Picholine variety with pulsed electric fields (PEF) under real operating conditions in a large-scale olive oil extraction plant affects the extractability, chemical composition and sensory profile of the oils. The application of pulsed electric fields (PEF) as a non-thermal food processing technology is interesting for many food extraction processes. The results of this study show that pulsed electric fields can be used as a pretreatment before oil separation to increase the extractability of the process and improve the content of functional components. The application of pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment (2.4 kV/cm, 4 kJ/kg, 6 µs pulse width) to olive paste through a continuous system significantly increased the extractability and total concentration of phenols (especially oleuropein derivatives) compared to the control. In addition, the volatile compounds, α-tocopherol, the fatty acid profile and the main legal quality parameters of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), including free acidity, peroxide values, extinction indices and sensory analysis, were evaluated. The pulsed electric fields (PEF) treatment did not modify these EVOO quality parameters, neither the α-tocopherol content nor the volatile profile. The sensory properties of EVOO were not affected as well as the PEF treatment showed a similar intensity of fruity and pungent attributes without any off-flavor according to the European Union legal standards. An increase in the bitter taste attribute was observed in the PEF oils. Consequently, this study demonstrates that pulsed electric fields (PEF) processing could be implemented in olive oil processing as pretreatment for improving the efficiency of the process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation and Optimization of Agro-Food Industry)
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