The current food market is becoming increasingly more demanding in quality and innovation, representing a very important challenge which many small and medium companies are not able to assume on their own.
For many years, we have been offering consulting work in the implementation of new packaging and cooling technologies for the food industry, which has given us great knowledge on the market. As a result of this experience, we have developed a pioneer project known as food consulting UME (Mobile Packaging Unit). This is a technical and practical tool, consisting of a pilot plant for food processing, versatile and dynamic, which allows testing and development of new products and processes directly on customer's processing plant.
The technological challenges of food companies, especially the small and medium companies, are the following:
Improvement of traditional processes and products
Innovation and development of new food products and processes aiming added value increase
Usage of excess productions and sub products
Tools which demonstrate and help to technically understand the benefits which contribute to new food applications.
In this sense, the UME project aims to provide, in the food industry in general, technical and economic solutions for the production of minimally processed foods (IV and V range), by applying new technologies in every stage of the production chain, from the entry of the raw material till arriving to customer perfectly packaged and labeled.
Human and technical resources
The UME consists of a complete small-scaled food processing factory, which can adapt itself to different types of products.
The mobile unit is divided in the following areas:
Reception, selection and raw material preparation area
Processing area, which includes equipment for:
- Peeling and chopping
- Draining and/or drying
- Modified atmospheres packaging
- Industrial cooking
- Chilling and freezing with liquid Nitrogen
- Appertization (cooking, pasteurization and sterilization)
Quality control area, which includes a small laboratory with equipment for microbiological testing and other quality tests
Weighing, labelling and refrigeration storage for finished products area
Other areas (storage, display of package products, meeting rooms, etc).
Each area has the most modern equipment to optimize processes, and draw conclusions for industrial implementation. Therefore all operating parameters are coordinated from a central computer.
The Unit has its own laboratory which allows carrying out microbiological analysis, established by the current legislation regarding the production, distribution and commercialisation of food products.
For the project’s development, Linde holds a team of technical specialists in food processing, able to solve the different issues which imply the improvement and development of new products.
The Packaging Mobile Unit consists on technical and human resources which allows us to offer the following services to customers:
Consulting on new production and packaging technologies for the food industry, aiming an increase in production quality, improvement of competitiveness, promoting modernisation and food safety
Portable equipment and personal Computers for practical and personalised demonstrations on customers
Technological transfer, in a triple aspect:
- Technological services in the industry, both in the development of new products or processes and in the implementation of new technologies
- Offer viable solutions to the innovation needs of the different production sectors, with special orientation towards small and medium companies which do not have resources and specialized staff in new technologies
- Provide technical and practical advice services in terms of technology or innovation Management which improve the companies’ competitiveness.
Coordination services between public institutions and partner companies in the R&D projects, offering demonstrative and technical support for presentations of technical dissemination and investigation
The Mobile Unit can be used as a pilot plant for the practical R&D project development of third parties (Universities, Customers, Research Centres, etc.) This way, you can obtain results of real products without needing new production lines or factories
Practical exhibitions and promotional demonstrations orientated to show, advise and explain the different food processes in the sector (meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, prepared food or caterings) promoting new technologies and displaying solutions of high added value which will help them be more competitive in the market.
The UME offers a wide range of portable cryogenic equipment with which you can carry out small tests with customers that can be scaled up to real industrial equipment.