Transformational Steam Infusion Processing for Resilient and Sustainable Food Manufacturing Businesses

Chris Brooks, Mark Swainson, Ian Beauchamp, Isabel Campelos, Ruzaina Ishak, MARTINDALE WAYNE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Here we show how food and beverage manufacturers report more incisive sustainability and product fulfilment outcomes for their business enterprises when innovative processing technologies are used. The reported steam infusion technology heats food materials within a Vaction Pump device so that steam is directed into the food material within a much reduced volume, reducing the use of steam and processing time. This study reports how such technological interventions will enable supply chain stakeholders to demonstrate responsible consumption by connecting assessments for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with consumer-focused outcomes such as product quality. The technology reported in this research not only improves operational agility by improving processing speed, but also improves the responsiveness of factory production to changes in demand. Heating procedures are systemic processes in the food industry that can be used to pasteurize, achieve commercially viable shelf-life, and provide cleaning in place. The reported research defines how these technologies can reduce the carbon footprint of products, improve quality attributes, and lower operating costs across supply chains. They provide an important step in developing distributed manufacturing in the food system because the technologies reported here are modular and can be installed into existing operations. The specific technology can reduce energy consumption by 17.3% compared to basic direct steam heating, with a reduction of 277.8 processing hours and 8.7 tonnes GHG emissions per kettle production line each year. Food and beverage manufacturers are increasingly required to report across the sustainability, nutrition, and product quality outcomes of their business enterprises more incisively so that supply chain stakeholders can demonstrate responsible production and consumption. The steam infusion technologies assessed in this research enable alignment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG12, Responsible Production and Consumption, using in situ data logging in factory trials for novel heating procedures used to process foods.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1763
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2021


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