a know-how to enhance meals security

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How may CO2 laser processing change the way forward for meals manufacturing? Learn how this non-contact know-how may also help…

Innovation in processing is among the basic pillars of accelerating effectivity and profitability within the meals trade. Among the many applied sciences researched in recent times, CO2 Lasers have the unbelievable capability to rework the way forward for meals manufacturing.

The laser’s temporal and spatial precision permits laser power to be targeted right into a small spot and observe advanced patterns with out overly affecting close by meals supplies.

Meals Security Tradition: What Is It and How Do We Measure It?

That is particularly vital for some mechanical and thermal processes. For instance, it has been proposed to inactivate microorganisms on meals contact surfaces. It will also be used for non-contact reducing, avoiding the bodily, chemical and microbiological cross-contamination issues of different programs equivalent to blades and waterjets. Or meals marking, paper/plastic labels and ink alternative.

CO2 Lasers: fundamental properties and results on meals

A laser (an acronym for gentle amplification by stimulated emission) consists of an power supply system that excites the molecules of the acquire medium to supply gentle.

This gentle is amplified in an optical cavity confined by two mirrors. One in every of every mirror is partially clear, permitting a coherent, directional laser beam to go by way of. This laser beam will be targeted onto the goal materials with temporal and spatial precision by a software-controlled lens system.

carbon dioxide (CO2) laser makes use of CO, therefore its identify.2 As the primary element of the acquire medium, it emits a laser beam at mid-infrared wavelengths (usually 10,600 nm).

Infrared wavelengths are transmitted by way of the ambiance with little loss. Moreover, it’s effectively absorbed by water, which is the primary element of meals. Each are subsequently prone to be the primary cause for CO curiosity.2 Lasers are utilized in meals processing.

By modulating the radiant power of CO2 Laser gentle, photochemical, thermal, and mechanical results are regularly produced in meals.1 For CO2 The laser power is low and the laser solely disturbs the bonds between atoms and molecules. At larger radiant energies, the laser beam power is transformed into thermal power, heating the meals floor (just a few millimeters deep) in a exact and managed method.

By additional growing the radiant power, a direct mechanical impact will be produced on the meals floor, ultimately forming craters based mostly on vaporization and ablation phenomena.1

The ablation course of will be repeated on the decrease layers of meals, permitting meals to penetrate deeper or proceed in adjoining zones, following a particular sample. Primarily based on these results, CO2 Lasers can be utilized for a variety of meals purposes together with decontamination of microorganisms, cooking, marking and reducing.

Microbial decontamination

CO2 Lasers are a non-contact, comparatively quick inactivation know-how for microorganisms on the floor of assorted substrates, and are an alternative choice to conventional floor cleansing and disinfection programs equivalent to using chemical compounds. .

For meals contact surfaces (e.g. cutters, conveyor belts) heating is much less of a problem and laser accuracy and processing velocity play an vital function. for instance, Escherichia coli When Staphylococcus aureus has been reported on chrome steel surfaces after CO2 Laser therapy (660 W; 0.8-1.3 cm/s).2 Other than microbial inactivation, the mechanical results of CO2 Lasers may assist take away hard-to-clean organics and biofilms from some of these surfaces.

CO2 Lasers may inactivate microorganisms current on the floor of meals.3 Nevertheless, on this case the therapy needs to be extremely optimized to attenuate the results on floor properties, keep away from mechanical results and decrease thermal results.

Regardless of optimization, floor modifications equivalent to colour modifications are normally detected. Utilizing flavonoids, riboflavin, or different antioxidants can scale back and even keep away from these adverse results.4

Warmth therapy

CO2 Lasers can be utilized as an alternative choice to conventional thermal know-how for cooking, grilling and browning, using the excessive power of the sunshine beam.4-5

Nevertheless, on this case, the charring and ablation processes (thermal and mechanical results, respectively) related to excessive power depth therapies needs to be prevented.

in meals cooked with CO2 laser, microbial discount salmonella typhimurium, salmonella Senftenberg and Escherichia coli O157:H7 is noticed much like that obtained with widespread cooking strategies equivalent to infrared ovens, electrical barbecues, and electrical flat grills.3 For CO2 Though the therapy is adjusted to scale back charring, laser-cooked meals additionally exhibit the identical quantity of polycyclic fragrant hydrocarbons as conventionally cooked meals.3

CO precision2 Lasers imply that just one portion of meals (e.g. simply the fats a part of bacon) or every portion of meals will be cooked beneath optimum situations (temperature, time), altering the therapy power on the fly and growing the publicity time.5 On this context, CO2 Lasers have acquired particular consideration in 3D printing of meals the place exact warmth switch is required to prepare dinner pre-printed meals.5


The authors state that the accuracy of CO is2 Laser means you possibly can solely prepare dinner a portion of your meals, such because the fats a part of your bacon.

Laser power penetrates only some millimeters into meals and is subsequently recommended for cooking skinny meals and floor therapies equivalent to grilling and browning. Many merchandise use lasers for floor ending (equivalent to grill marks) and are proposed for use together with different applied sciences equivalent to microwaves.3

meals marking

The usage of lasers for marking fruit and veggies is licensed and practiced in trade in a number of European nations. They’ve been examined on quite a lot of meals merchandise together with fruits, greens, eggs, meat, cheese, chocolate and cereal merchandise (Determine 1).

Figure 1

Determine 1: QR code marking on cheese with a CO2 laser (instance of laser processing).

What makes it fascinating is the truth that it does not require plastic/paper labels or adhesives and is made to keep away from contact. From a normal perspective, CO2 Lasers can be utilized for marking based mostly on mechanical results (engraving) or thermal results (Maillard response).

In each circumstances, the laser will be operated based on nearly any sample, thus marking numbers (e.g. expiry date, batch quantity), letters (e.g. origin, firm identify) and codes (e.g. barcode, QR) . Or advanced drawings and designs (high quality labels, firm logos, and many others.).6

Mechanical meals processing: reducing, peeling, perforating

Utilizing the ablation phenomenon, CO2 Lasers can be utilized as a non-contact approach for reducing and peeling, or for different mechanical procedures equivalent to perforation that can be utilized in some operations equivalent to marinating and compound extraction.1,4


CO2 Lasers have a number of benefits over conventional strategies that use blades, knives, needles, or comparable units.

First, the working space is partially decontaminated (deactivation of microorganisms) by the motion of the laser beam.

Additionally it is attainable to course of meals based on advanced patterns which might be troublesome and even inconceivable with standard know-how.

Lastly, sample modifications will be made on the fly with out the necessity to cease the road to scrub the mechanical reducing components. In standard know-how, altering the cleansing course of or reducing configuration includes stopping the road to scrub, change, change, or transfer reducing components.


Most vital restrictions on CO use2 Lasers in this type of mechanical course of are warmth generated and comparatively shallow depth of lower.

Efficient number of laser processing parameters is essential to avoiding burnt edges on meals and reaching good efficiency. For depths higher than just a few millimeters, a number of laser processing cycles are required to permit adequate time for the zone to chill. Different methods are based mostly on utilizing water or steam to immediately cool the laser therapy zone.

What advantages will it carry to the meals trade?

CO2 Laser is a non-contact processing know-how that has nice potential to alleviate the issue of cross-contamination within the meals trade.

It may be used on meals for a variety of purposes together with cooking/grilling, marking, reducing, peeling or inactivating microorganisms current on meals contact surfaces.

To the writer’s data, the one absolutely industrialized and widespread laser utility within the meals market is the laser marking of fruit and veggies, because it acts immediately on the meals.

Nevertheless, the outcomes obtained in different purposes are promising and additional efforts are wanted to carry them to market.I’ve a CO at present2 A laser system with the ability and traits wanted to industrialize a lot of the purposes described on this article.

Due to this fact, no main scaling points are anticipated and we are able to foresee their industrial use beginning to unfold within the coming years.2 Lasers are utilized in different industries, however their value has dropped considerably over the past 20 years.

With this in thoughts, the cheaper value undoubtedly makes it simpler to implement within the meals trade, the place margins are decrease than in different manufacturing sectors.


  1. Puértolas, E., et al. (2020). Rising extraction.of meals waste assortment, 219–240. 2nd Version San Diego: Tutorial Press.
  2. Watson, I., et al. (2007). Scanning CO2 Laser micro organism inactivation system. Journal of Utilized Microbiology 102:766–773.
  3. Gracia, A. (2019). Laser cooking system utilized to 3D meals printing toolsPhD thesis, Autonomous College of Barcelona.
  4. Teng, X., et al. (2021). Potential purposes of laser know-how in meals processing. Traits in meals science and know-how 118:711–722.
  5. Fukuchi, Ok. et al. (2012). Laser Cooking: A brand new cooking know-how for dry heating utilizing a laser cutter and imaginative and prescient know-how.of CEA ’12: Proceedings of the ACM Multimedia 2012 Workshop on Multimedia for Cooking and Consuming Actions55–58.
  6. Henze, N., T., et al. (2015). Enrich meals with data.of MUM ’15: Proceedings of the 14th Worldwide Convention on Cell and Ubiquitous Multimedia258–266.

Concerning the writer

Eduardo Puertras (ORCID: 0000-0001-7489-4674) is a PhD researcher at Meals. Eduardo PuertrasAZTI – Analysis arm of the Basque Analysis and Expertise Alliance (BRTA). His fundamental analysis areas are analysis and utility of latest processing strategies (lasers, excessive strain homogenization, excessive hydrostatic strain, and many others.) for novel meals design, meals preservation, meals high quality enchancment and course of optimization. Electronic mail: [email protected]

Isaskun Perez AZTI- agricultural engineer and researcher. Isaskun PerezThe Basque Analysis and Expertise Alliance (BRTA) participates in analysis initiatives on rising applied sciences for the event and validation of latest purposes. Lately, she has participated within the growth and implementation of the corporate’s two new manufacturing traces (merchandise at the moment in the marketplace). Electronic mail: [email protected]

Xavier Murgiagronomist engineer, grasp of know-how, Xavier MurgiHigh quality in Agro-food Industries is now an AZTI-Basque Analysis and Expertise Alliance (BRTA) Researcher. A meals trade skilled with over 14 years of expertise, he makes a speciality of new product growth, prototype scaling and industrialization. Electronic mail: [email protected]

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