France-based Sairem claims its range of systems can be used for quickly and reliably warming and melting food products such as chewing-gum, sweets, honey and vegetable fat.
Radio frequencies are suitable for tempering sea food products, vegetable and fruit to temperatures of from -3 °C to -1 °C. Meat can also be evenly thawed. Radio frequencies can heat a product to a final temperature between 10 and 50 °C in anything between a few seconds and a few minutes without affecting the its quality, the company claimed.
Microwave technology can also be used for cooking and pasteurising packed food products such as vegetables, fruits and ready meals.
"They offer much better quality than processing in an autoclave or a steam tunnel," the company claimed. Microwave-treated food products can be stored in the fridge at + 4 °C for between 21 and 28 days.
The company installed its first microwave tunnel for food processing in the first quarter of 2006.
Microwaves are also used in the food sector for tempering meat products from -20 °C to -4/-3 °C in few minutes. At these temperatures, the blocks can then be prepared for further processing or packging by dicing, grinding, cutting and flaking.
Sairem also has a microwave system in the shape of a column, designed to automatically and rapidly heat broken cereal bars on snack production lines. The system can handle 40 kg/hour of broken product for mixing in with the production of new bars of cereals.
"The treatment time is only a few seconds, heating is very homogeneous and softens the product for homogenous mixing with new product," the company stated.