Science & Technology

The new “ion-like” allows food to dry while preserving nutrients

When you pick fruits and vegetables, it starts to get worse. One of the common ways to delay or stop its spoilage is to remove water from the food. The process — dehydration — is usually accompanied by heat.But heat can destroy food Nutrients.. Now, researchers have come up with a more energy-efficient way to dehydrate food without the use of heat.May help keep dried fruits and vegetables healthier And They say it’s more flavorful.

The food is full of delicate chemicals.. These include vitamins that the human body cannot produce on its own.Others Antioxidant.. They interfere with intracellular reactions that can cause disease. Yet other chemicals give flavor. All of this can be damaged or destroyed by heat, says Kamran Iranshahi. He is a mechanical engineer at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing. Based in St. Gallen.

A common way to dry sliced ​​fruits and vegetables is to blow them with hot air. But there are other ways to move the air, says Iranshahi. And it doesn’t require a fan or heat. It only requires metal wire and considerable voltage.

This technique, called “ion-like,” didn’t seem ready for the golden time. To get started, it used a lot of energy. Also, it took too long to dry things. So the St. Gallen team began coordinating the process. And this has brought many benefits. For example, the ion wind halved the time required to dry the produce.

How to use

Ionic wind is generated by electricity. Applying a sufficiently high voltage to a positively charged bare wire creates an electric field.The place removes electrons from the nearby air molecule.. 10,000-30,000 volts is usually sufficient, says Iranshahi.

Electrons have a negative charge and are therefore attracted to the wire. On the other hand, air molecules that have lost electrons are positively charged. The wires will now repel them at very high speeds.As their charged particles — or ion — As it moves, it hits uncharged air molecules and begins dragging in the same direction. This creates an ionic wind.

In previous versions of the setup, the fruits and vegetables to dry were placed on a metal plate. Those parts dried fairly slowly, as the air flow never reached the underside of the produce. Iranshahi’s group used metal mesh instead of plates. The seemingly small changes seem to make a big difference. By using it, the Swiss team not only reduced the drying time, but also reduced energy consumption by more than 85% in the team’s latest tests.

researcher Explain those improvements October 1st energy.

Previously, ion-air drying worked only on a small scale, says Iranshahi. It was too costly to dry a large amount of food.

“That’s amazing,” says the new discovery Vijaya Raghavan. He is a mechanical engineer at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

“People are [hot air] The drying process is good enough for many years, “says Raghavan. “But now more and more people are worried about their health … of their food,” he points out. He says the Swiss team’s striking innovations could make it easier to scale up the ionic wind process to provide healthy, flavorful dried foods.

Earlier versions of ionic wind with produce on metal plates were about 95% more energy efficient than drying food with fan-powered air. The new mesh design should be even more energy efficient, Iranshahi said. So far, few studies have evaluated the nutrient content of ionic-dried produce. However, Iranshahi says the new technology should destroy less nutrients than heat-based methods.

This is one of a series of news stories about technology and innovation made possible by the generous support of the Lemelson Foundation.

The new “ion-like” allows food to dry while preserving nutrients

https://www./article/innovation-new-ionic-wind-can-dry-foods-while-preserving-nutrients The new “ion-like” allows food to dry while preserving nutrients

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