Discover how we helped a major food research facility thermally process better quality “ready-to-eat” meals thanks to our GaN microwave technology.

 

Customer Pain Points

Heating is known to be one of the most effective means of killing spoilage and pathogenic micro-organisms to extend the shelf life of foods. Today, “ready to eat” shelf-stable foods are generally packaged in an oxygen-free environment to eliminate chemical reactions from occurring, thus stopping, or prolonging the food’s shelf stability.

The traditional thermal process for packaged foods generally uses a retort system, which utilizes pressurized steam at high temperatures to eliminate spoilage and viral pathogens.

However, this usually takes several hours and tends to overcook the product – resulting in loss of flavor, texture, color, and nutrients from the food.

As a result, our customer was looking for a new and improved method of thermally processing the “ready-to-eat” meals by using our GaN solid state industrial microwave generators.

 

Technical Constraints

915MHz was chosen due to its deeper penetration capabilities allowing it to cook the food more uniformly. Due to the delicate nature of the product and process, the customer required a single-mode cavity to produce a more stable heating pattern.

 

Solution Proposed

To meet our customer’s needs, we designed a compact and portable microwave generator solution equipped with an internal waveguide allowing the customer to connect the generator to a horn antenna inside the chamber. This allowed our customers to eliminate bulky and costly waveguides from their entire system, saving high costs and floor space. The generator was also able to cut processing times by over 50% compared to conventional processing and produce higher-quality foods in flavor, texture, color, and nutrients.

RFHIC provided our RIU093K0-40TG microwave generator solution operable from 900 to 930 MHz with a max output power of 3kW.  The RIU093K0-40TG is a remote type of microwave generator consisting of a separate SSPA head, a 380 VAC power supply unit, a control module, and RF cables. The remote type of architecture allows for greater system flexibility and simplified system integration.

 

245 magnetron heat distribution model

245 magnetron heat distribution model

 

915Mhz heat distribution model

915Mhz heat distribution model


Key Benefits

With the transition over to a microwave solution, our clients could optimize the quality of their end products while significantly lowering costs.

  • The solution was able to reduce processing times from 2-2.5 hours to 30-35 min.
  • The solution provided a much stable and uniform heating pattern due to its controllable digital features, allowing our customers the flexibility to control and monitor the real-time status of the generator system via Windows GUI.
  • The solution’s longer lifetime was able to eliminate frequent downtime and maintenance, eliminating significant costs.

 

industrial food processing with microwave heati