December 2012. Bühler AG, Uzwil, Switzerland, has won the second European Food Processing Implementation Award with its innovation, the “Ecothermatik dryer” for pasta products. HighTech Europe, the European Food Processing Network of Excellence, was responsible for launching the contest.
The winning participant has developed a revolutionary drying system for drying pasta. In contrast to conventional drying techniques, high energy savings can be obtained with the presented technology and this is combined with a top quality pasta product. Moreover, the Ecothermatik drying system is highly appreciated for its user-friendliness.
Drying of pasta is an energy-intensive process. The new Ecothermatik process comes up with an elegant solution using a new drying technology, which enables to recover some of the drying energy which can then be recycled in the process. This energy saving provides a powerful boost to the efficiency of pasta production. Additionally, a substantial contribution is also made to the sustainability of pasta production, since significantly less energy is consumed to generate the necessary thermal energy.
In the context of the present innovation, a top quality of the pasta is of course an important priority next to the energy savings. By using a new climate control technology and more humid drying air, the surface of the pasta is prevented from becoming glassy. The pasta remains in a rubbery state, which implies important quality benefits such as outstanding cooking characteristics, adjustable pasta colour, and stress-free drying.
The Ecothermatik process was developed in a cooperation of Bühler, ETH Zürich (Federal Technical University Zürich) and University of Applied Sciences Konstanz (HTWG) and is, thus, an excellent example of successful knowledge transfer.
The European Food Processing Implementation Award commends innovations in food processing and improvement of food quality which have been successfully developed along a knowledge transfer chain. The aim of this award is to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises in the food production industry to adopt innovative knowledge.
The prize is awarded by HighTech Europe supported by a jury of international experts. The award ceremony took place at the EFFoST conference in Montpellier on November 21th 2012.
The FP7-funded project “HighTech Europe” is the first Network of Excel-lence for the food processing sector. It facilitates communication and knowledge transfer between industry and science in order to increase innovations in food technology across Europe. The network aims to achieve a durable integration of European R&D activities into high-tech food processing.
Members of HighTech Europe are 22 partners from universities, applied research centres, technology transfer centres, food associations and enterprises. Parties interested in the project can register for the Associated Membership Platform (AMP). For more information see:
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