Demand for microsystems in the food sector

 

Synthesis

The analysis reveals that the main demands are for food product quality and safety assessment and food process control. These areas of applications combine favorable indicators in all the dimensions of the study: there is a strong demand expressed from the industry, consumers recognize the benefits and are ready to accept the implementation of such systems, and legislative provisions are already in place to regulate the utilization of microsystems in such applications. For a successful implementation of such systems, the innovative solutions should be easily implemented in the current management practices of the food industry, the economic benefit of their use should be clearly demonstrated and sufficient considerations should be given to limit the impact on the environment at the time of the disposal of the device. Development of such systems by technology providers should be done in close collaboration with food industry partners to ensure compatibility with food processes and hygienic procedures.

There is a demand for microsystems in active and intelligent packaging but there are more constraints than for product and process control:  consumers are not inclined to pay extra costs for the package, the legislative framework is more constraining (the innovative packaging needs to be approved by the EFSA) and there are concerns about the environmental impact linked to the disposal of the packaging, especially if it ends up in nature.

Finally, there are opportunities to use microsystem devices to improve specific processes in the industry, allowing the preparation of new or improved food products (mainly passive microsystem devices pasteurization and for emulsion) with superior characteristics. However, for the time being this corresponds to a niche market application.

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Further reading
D3.5 Synthesis report on the needs and constraints for implementing Microsystems in the food industry (main author: ACTIA)
logo pdf Synthesis report

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