IMS recognized for microwave technology involving the method and apparatuses for thermal treatment of foods and other biomaterials. A process for thermally treating a flowable material while passing the flowable material, as a continuous stream, through a thermal treatment apparatus, is disclosed.
The process includes: (a) passing a semi-solid flowable material continuously through a conduit, where at least a portion of the conduit is transparent to electromagnetic radiation; (b) heating the flowable material by exposing a portion of the conduit, transparent to electromagnetic radiation, to a source of electromagnetic radiation; and (c) mixing the flowable material within the conduit to provide for thermal equalization in the flowable material.
In order to be sold to the public, food often needs to be treated to minimize microbial growth that can occur between the time that the 25 foodstuffs are harvested and they are purchased by the consumer.
There are several general methods that are commercially available for this purpose, the most widespread of which is to heat the material to appropriate temperatures for sufficient lengths of time to kill or otherwise inactivate any microorganisms and/or spores that could germinate and grow at the storage 30 temperature that may be present within the food. For example, milk is typically pasteurized in order to reduce the levels of bacteria that are normally found in the milk, which allows milk to be stored safely longer than it would be otherwise in the absence of the pasteurization process.