The formation of unwanted layers of fouling deposits on the surface of process equipment and their removal, as well as the attachment and inactivation of associated microbiological species, is of critical importance in the food industry. Fouling is prevalent in heat transfer devices, evaporators, membranes and distribution lines. Hygienic design, operation, maintenance, monitoring and assurance is a multi-disciplinary field lying at the interface between life sciences, physical sciences and engineering.
Most food production processes employ water-based techniques for cleaning and disinfection. The need to minimise water, energy and chemical consumption (in effect, a food-water-energy nexus) is increasingly important for sustainable food production and the move towards a circular economy - one in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, and recover and regenerate products and materials afterwards. Building quantitative understanding and models of the mechanisms involved in both fouling and cleaning is needed to achieve this.
We can measure, model and control more than ever before. This conference aims to bring together those active in the area from different academic disciplines and the food industry to:
- report on developments in the area
- explore interactions with related fields (e.g. micro-fabrication, informatics, additive manufacturing)
- promote knowledge and technology transfer
- engage in discussions of the way forward for the industry.
The meeting is organised by the research unit Materials and Transformation – PIHM Team at Lille.