April 20, 2021

The Ohio State College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) has established a university-industry consortium to develop and license a new manufacturing technology that preserves foods and beverages using recognisable ingredients – without artificial preservatives, and with reduced heat.

Called ultra-shear technology (UST), the pressure-based system allows companies to make healthier beverages by reducing thermal exposure through the application of higher pressure, shear, and controlled times and temperatures. CFAES professor of food engineering V.M. Balasubramaniam, said: “Health-conscious consumers are interested in minimally-processed liquid foods and beverages that satisfy their lifestyle aspirations.”

Products such as plant-protein beverages, dairy beverages, sports drinks, fortified waters, juices, nutritional drinks, and pastes/sauces will all benefit from UST processing according to Balasubramaniam. “UST-treated beverages also improves bioavailability, texture, and sensorial properties,” he added.

The professor’s team has partnered with scientists and engineers at Massachusetts-based Pressure BioSciences Inc., that makes high-pressure equipment and laboratory instrumentation. Edmund Ting, a senior vice president at the company, led the development of the laboratory-scale and pilot plant equipment that CFAES researchers use in their research.

The project has been funded through a four-year, $891,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Access to UST technology through the consortium is expected to be particularly beneficial for medium- and small-scale food processors and entrepreneurs who otherwise have limited technical resources to evaluate novel food manufacturing processes. Consortium members will also have first rights to non-exclusively license all new applications for commercial utilization in their own products, worldwide.

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