Special Issue "Nonthermal and Advanced Food Processing Technologies: Industry 4.0 and Sustainability"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Farid Chemat
grade E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Université d´Avignon et des Pays du Vaucluse, 84029 Avignon, France
Interests: green extraction; alternative solvents; innovative technologies; original procedures; microwave; ultrasound; intensification
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Giovanna Ferrari
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
ProdAl scarl and Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II, 132 84084 Fisciano (SA), Italy
Interests: nonthermal technologies; functional foods; high-pressure treatments; pulsed electric fields; pulsed light; ohmic heating
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Sanda Pleslić
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Applied Physics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: plasma physics, plasma measurements, materials science and technology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The aim of this special issue is to invite groundbreaking research idea focused on application of nonthermal and advanced thermal food processing techniques in research and industry. Up to now, nonthermal technologies include high power ultrasound, pulsed electric fields, high voltage electrical discharge, high pressure processing, UV-LED, pulsed light, e-beam, and advanced thermal food processing techniques includes microwave processing, ohmic heating, high pressure homogenization etc. Review papers on the state of the art of the tools of industry 4.0, including smart manufacturing, simulations and process integrations that are applied or can be implemented in the food industry are of great interest. Reviews on digitalization, internet of things (IoT), additive technologies (3D printing), cloud data storage, smart sensors connected with application of nonthermal and advanced thermal technologies as well as synergy of combination and connective application of nonthermal technologies and advanced thermal technologies will be highly welcomed. Research and review papers on the application of artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning, machine learning, cybersecurity and blockchain future application in nonthermal and advanced thermal processing will be highly welcomed. The idea of applying the aforementioned nonthermal and advanced thermal techniques is lower working temperatures, reduce energy consumption, lower carbon footprint, reduce water depletion and improve life cycle assessment parameters. Nonthermal and advanced thermal technologies can be applied also as sustainable techniques working in line with the sustainable development goals (SDG) and Agenda 2030 issued by United Nations (UN).

The idea is to bring to the reader new information on the application of nonthermal technologies and advanced thermal technologies with the aim of founding future smart factories in the food processing industry. This special issue will highlight the current application of nonthermal and advanced thermal food processing techniques consistent with the dictates of the industry 4.0 and sustainable developments strategic guidelines. Future focus will be on groundbreaking ideas of application of those techniques related to artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning, machine learning, cybersecurity and blockchain future application.

Prof. Dr. Anet Režek Jambrak
Prof. Dr. Farid Chemat
Prof. Dr. Giovanna Ferrari
Dr. Sanda Pleslić
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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. Applied Sciences 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 2000 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

  • nonthermal techniques
  • advanced thermal techniques
  • industry 4.0
  • digitalization
  • internet of things (IoT)
  • additive technologies (3D printing)
  • sustainability
  • artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity
  • blockchain

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Influence of Different Pre-Treatments on the Quality and Nutritional Characteristics in Dried Undersized Yellow Kiwifruit
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(23), 8432; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app10238432 - 26 Nov 2020
Viewed by 630
Abstract
Undersized kiwifruits are considered waste; therefore, there is a need to develop sustainable processing technologies for their valorization, in order to have a positive economic impact on their entire production chain. Therefore, the aim of this study was to apply pulsed electric fields [...] Read more.
Undersized kiwifruits are considered waste; therefore, there is a need to develop sustainable processing technologies for their valorization, in order to have a positive economic impact on their entire production chain. Therefore, the aim of this study was to apply pulsed electric fields (PEF) combined with osmotic dehydration (OD) and air drying (AD) to develop a novel yellow kiwifruit dried snack with high nutritional functionality. In particular, the effect of the different pre-treatments, PEF (200 V/cm) and/or OD (trehalose at 40%), on the color, bioactive compounds content and antioxidant activity (AA) was evaluated on kiwifruit chips air-dried at three different temperatures (50, 60, 70 °C). The results showed that better color maintenance was observed at the drying temperature of 60 °C. Concerning the bioactive compounds, a good retention in total polyphenols (TP), vitamin C content and AA with the DPPH method was obtained on OD and PEF kiwifruit dried snacks, similar to that of control samples. Instead, the ABTS method showed the best AA in PEF and OD/PEF samples. In general, a shorter drying time in the OD- and PEF-treated samples could contribute to the higher sustainability of the process. Full article
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Article
Impact of Atmospheric Pressure Microwave Plasma Treatment on Quality of Selected Spices
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(19), 6815; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app10196815 - 28 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 962
Abstract
Current industry needs are related to higher awareness of modern consumers. These consumers are looking for products in which properties such as bioactive compounds are preserved as much as possible. Plasma treatment is one of the most promising nonthermal technologies that can decontaminate [...] Read more.
Current industry needs are related to higher awareness of modern consumers. These consumers are looking for products in which properties such as bioactive compounds are preserved as much as possible. Plasma treatment is one of the most promising nonthermal technologies that can decontaminate food and keep its original properties. Therefore, the aim of this work was to examine the usefulness of atmospheric pressure argon microwave plasma on decontamination of black pepper seeds, allspice berries and juniper berries. The samples were irradiated by plasma for 15–60 s and their physicochemical (dry matter content, water activity, color, total phenolic content, antioxidant activity, piperine content in black pepper seeds) and microbial (bacteria and molds count) quality was evaluated afterwards. Results demonstrated that plasma irradiation for 15 s was sufficient for partial inactivation of A. niger but less effective against the Gram-positive bacterium B. subtilis, regardless of the raw material. At the same time, plasma treatment reduced water activity, which can positively affect further storage of spices. Properly selected plasma parameters may also enhance extractability of phenolics or piperine (from black pepper seeds) and improve antioxidant activity with not very great, but visible, color changes. Full article
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Review

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Review
Tailoring Alginate/Chitosan Microparticles Loaded with Chemical and Biological Agents for Agricultural Application and Production of Value-Added Foods
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 4061; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app11094061 - 29 Apr 2021
Viewed by 652
Abstract
This work reviews the recent development of biopolymer-based delivery systems for agricultural application. Encapsulation into biopolymer microparticles ensures the protection and targeted delivery of active agents while offering controlled release with higher efficiency and environmental safety for ecological and sustainable plant production. Encapsulation [...] Read more.
This work reviews the recent development of biopolymer-based delivery systems for agricultural application. Encapsulation into biopolymer microparticles ensures the protection and targeted delivery of active agents while offering controlled release with higher efficiency and environmental safety for ecological and sustainable plant production. Encapsulation of biological agents provides protection and increases its survivability while providing an environment safe for growth. The application of microparticles loaded with chemical and biological agents presents an innovative way to stimulate plant metabolites synthesis. This enhances plants’ defense against pests and pathogens and results in the production of higher quality food (i.e., higher plant metabolites share). Ionic gelation was presented as a sustainable method in developing biopolymeric microparticles based on the next-generation biopolymers alginate and chitosan. Furthermore, this review highlights the advantages and disadvantages of advanced formulations against conventional ones. The significance of plant metabolites stimulation and their importance in functional food production is also pointed out. This review offers guidelines in developing biopolymeric microparticles loaded with chemical and biological agents and guidelines for the application in plant production, underlining its effect on the plant metabolites synthesis. Full article
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Review
Internet of Nonthermal Food Processing Technologies (IoNTP): Food Industry 4.0 and Sustainability
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 686; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app11020686 - 12 Jan 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1874
Abstract
With the introduction of Industry 4.0, and smart factories accordingly, there are new opportunities to implement elements of industry 4.0 in nonthermal processing. Moreover, with application of Internet of things (IoT), smart control of the process, big data optimization, as well as sustainable [...] Read more.
With the introduction of Industry 4.0, and smart factories accordingly, there are new opportunities to implement elements of industry 4.0 in nonthermal processing. Moreover, with application of Internet of things (IoT), smart control of the process, big data optimization, as well as sustainable production and monitoring, there is a new era of Internet of nonthermal food processing technologies (IoNTP). Nonthermal technologies include high power ultrasound, pulsed electric fields, high voltage electrical discharge, high pressure processing, UV-LED, pulsed light, e-beam, and advanced thermal food processing techniques include microwave processing, ohmic heating and high-pressure homogenization. The aim of this review was to bring in front necessity to evaluate possibilities of implementing smart sensors, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, additive technologies with nonthermal technologies, with the possibility to create smart factories together with strong emphasis on sustainability. This paper brings an overview on digitalization, IoT, additive technologies (3D printing), cloud data storage and smart sensors including two SWOT analysis associated with IoNTPs and sustainability. It is of high importance to perform life cycle assessment (LCA), to quantify (En)—environmental dimension; (So)—social dimension and (Ec)—economic dimension. SWOT analysis showed: potential for energy saving during food processing; optimized overall environmental performance; lower manufacturing cost; development of eco-friendly products; higher level of health and safety during food processing and better work condition for workers. Nonthermal and advanced thermal technologies can be applied also as sustainable techniques working in line with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030 issued by United Nations (UN). Full article
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Review
Applications of Pulsed Light Decontamination Technology in Food Processing: An Overview
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(10), 3606; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app10103606 - 22 May 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2895
Abstract
Consumers of the 21st century tend to be more aware and demand safe as well as nutritionally balanced food. Unfortunately, conventional thermal processing makes food safe at the cost of hampering nutritional value. The food industry is trying to develop non-thermal processes for [...] Read more.
Consumers of the 21st century tend to be more aware and demand safe as well as nutritionally balanced food. Unfortunately, conventional thermal processing makes food safe at the cost of hampering nutritional value. The food industry is trying to develop non-thermal processes for food preservation. Pulsed light (PL) is one such emerging non-thermal food processing method that can decontaminate food products or food contact surfaces using white light. Exposure to intense light pulses (in infrared, visible, and ultraviolet (UV) regions) causes the death of microbial cells, rendering the food safe at room temperature. PL technology is an excellent and rapid method of disinfection of product surfaces and is increasingly being used for food surfaces and packaging decontamination, enabling the minimal processing of food. This paper aims to give an overview of the latest trends in pulsed light research, discuss principles of pulse generation, and review applications of various PL systems for the inactivation of microorganisms in vitro, in various food products, and on food contact surfaces. Effects of PL on food quality, challenges of the process, and its prospects are presented. Full article
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