Commissioning of an inline microwave where meals (on pilot scale) can be prepared and regenerated
The MicroWavePilot is an EFRO investment project for purchasing and implementing an inline microwave in which meals in limited amounts (compared to standard company production lines) can be prepared and regenerated. This device will be used solely for academic research, contract research and the testing of companies and knowledge institutes. The research can include a pilot in which meals are prepared and regenerated and the impact of the microwave technology on the nutritional and organoleptic quality can be examined. Research into the food safety of meals (components) prepared in this manner can also be carried out. This device offers companies the chance to examine, on a pilot scale, what opportunities inline microwave technology can offer their products and processes. Care facilities that often must regenerate many meals in a short amount of time can test how an inline microwave can improve the quality of delivered meals as wells as the efficiency.
This device will be embedded in the KitchenPilot in Roeselare. Work towards valorisation research will begin whereby the knowledge gained will result in new products and services. The target group is food companies, commercial kitchens and care facilities in which a collaboration will be formed to carry out experimental research into the use of the microwave as well as feasibility tests for the implementation of such a device in their own company/kitchen. Specifically, we will differentiate between, on the one hand, the expansive food industry, producers of prepared meals and commercial kitchens where meals for the care facilities are prepared and, on the other hand, the care facilities themselves that regenerate meals. The broad food industry includes ingredient suppliers, producers from various sub-sectors and caterers. In 2013, the food industry had grown to be the largest industrial sector in Belgium. Care facilities include hospitals, public and private residential care centres and rehabilitation centres. The knowledge generated will ultimately be useful for society and the entire healthcare sector.
Flanders’ FOOD manages and coordinates the EFRO project. It is funded with European support. The MicroWavePilot will be installed in the KitchenPilot, a collaboration between VIVES University, TUA West, ILVO, POM West Flanders and Flanders' FOOD.