SAIREM, a world-leading specialist in microwave (MW) and radio-frequency (RF) industrial solutions based in Lyon, France, showcased the company’s sanitisation technologies at FIE, Food Ingredients Europe, from 6 to 8 December, 2022. The company has highlighted innovative systems which are suitable for either decontamination of ingredients, such as powders, spices, peppercorns, flours and nuts, etc. or as disinfestation of plant-based food and ingredients, such as cereals, soft wheat and many more. Responding to client needs, the French company has developed highly efficient processes to produce ingredients that are healthy, clean and fully compatible with the requirements of organic farming certification.

Chemical-free destruction of potentially contaminated ingredients

Decontamination with Sairem RF and MW systems enable the complete destruction of mould, yeast and bacteria, without the use of toxic chemical products. The use of not allowed gas was one of the most cited reasons for product withdrawal in Europe in the last years. This is a major advantage for food processors and suppliers serving the health – and environment – conscious consumers of today. Sairem’s systems are ideal for superfood trend products and ingredients to produce plant-based protein alternatives. Valuable ingredients, i.e. nuts are treated with extreme care, therefore resulting in a high-quality end product and reduction of 4-5 Log. The efficient RF and MW process, which only lasts a few minutes, ensures that each ingredient is quickly and uniformly brought to the required temperature. As the processing time is so short, there is no alteration of the physical, chemical and organoleptic properties – all product characteristics are perfectly preserved. Other successful applications include peppercorns (3.4 Log reduction) or maize starch powder (6.87 Log reduction).

RF and MW technology for disinfestation from egg to insect 

Many high-quality ingredients are exposed to the risk of contamination by parasites and, in particular, larvae, moths and beetles. By the implementation of Sairem’s RF and MW technology, parasites and micro-organisms are deactivated by short, homogenous exposure to a microwave field in a temperature-controlled processing cavity. For example, products, such as dates, whose high sugar content makes them particularly vulnerable to moths and beetle larvae, the speed of the process ensures perfect disinfestation while preserving all organoleptic properties.

Sairem assigned French technical institute ARVALIS to conduct a study on the effectiveness of weevil eradication by applying Sairem’s microwave heat treatment. The treatment tested had excellent disinfestation results of adult weevils and their offspring.

Fast, energy-saving, cost-efficient

The low maintenance and cost-effective Sairem systems can process large amounts of product either in batches or in a continuous process in tunnels or the patented tubular system. MW energy efficiency and volumetric heating keep power consumption at a lower level than that of other processing technologies. As Sairem’s MW and RF technologies are 100% electric solutions, they have no CO2 emission and consume 50% less energy compared to traditional heat treatment processes.

SAIREM equipment: innovation and versatility in action

Not only does this equipment provide a speedy, efficient process, it has the added advantage of being very compact with a small floor footprint that saves space. It is extremely user-friendly, offering easy loading and unloading as well as a colour touch screen HMI, and a USB and ethernet connection for remote control. Apart from daily cleaning, there is no need for regular maintenance, and it complies with all hygiene regulations and standards.

Sylvain Tissier, Business Development Manager at Sairem, explains: “Sairem systems are extremely versatile and efficient. They can be used for sanitising in the role of decontamination and disinfestation. We have designed them to provide fast and effective processes, ensuring high-performing, cost-saving results.”

SAIREM offers standardised systems as well as systems specifically adapted to customer requirements.