Analysis of Process Technologies to Preserve Berries
Abstract: From all the wild berries that grow in Sweden only 2-5% is utilized (RISE, 2022). The United Nation has 17 goals for sustainable development, and many of those goals are related to sustainable food production (United Nations, 2022). A sustainable food product should have low environmental impact, social equity, and economic viability, while still containing essential nutrients (Woodhouse et al, 2018). There are many parameters to take into consideration when evaluating sustainability, as it is a complex system with many factors, I will only evaluate from the environmental impact perspective. The objective of this thesis is to analyze lyophilization, convective hot air drying, microwave vacuum drying, and osmotic dehydration to see if they are a better alternative to freezing berries, concerning cost of new equipment, environmental impact, preservation of nutrients, shelf life, and sensory properties. The berries considered are blueberries, bilberries, cranberries, and lingonberries because they have a similar composition. The study is conducted through a literature review. To evaluate the environmental impact of the mentioned technologies a sustainability checklist based on a Life Cycle Approach was conducted. The overall conclusion is that from all the assessed technologies in this thesis there is no better technique when it comes to preserve berries, all of them have their advantages and disadvantages, but to increase the utilization of the wild Swedish forest berries the development of a more efficient way to collect them could be an interesting project to develop.
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