What If—Agile Food Manufacturing
Every industry seeks less resource-intensive new product and process development, faster time-to-market performance, and high-quality innovation. Such fundamental goals certainly apply to food manufacturing with its material complexity and global competition.
Ashim K. Datta, Biological and Environmental Engineering, is developing three complementary food-specific, user-friendly, and effective computing technologies that can be used to simulate what-if scenarios in food manufacturing more efficiently than trial-and-error.
The first tool, an extensive knowledge base, will provide access to the widest possible range of food properties to anyone, anywhere, through a web-based interface. Users will be able to search the database for the property they need for a given food material. The second toolsets are high-level computing apps that can quickly simulate food processes, such as drying or frying, helping to guide food manufacturers more quickly toward the best strategy for quality. The third tool consists of a visualization library for the most complex food processes—microwave drying and puffing, for example. These simulations will help food manufacturers find pathways to improve food production processes.
The tools will make front-end work cheaper, faster, and better for a range of industry sizes and therefore make food manufacturing more agile, efficient, and competitive.