The U.S. food and beverage industry employs nearly 2 million workers, ships about $1 trillion worth of product annually, and accounts for about 10% of the nation’s manufacturing energy use, O’Neill said. That’s what it means. This energy expenditure does not take into account post-harvest drying processes in the food and agriculture sector.
O’Neill and her team have developed an innovative heat pump system that integrates dehumidification, low-cost internet-connected sensors, data assimilation, and model-free predictive control to intelligently and safely manipulate the food dehydration process. We are pursuing
Moreira and her team use models to assess the energy efficiency of new technologies and how new processes impact a product’s physical and sensory functionality. Graduate students on her team are compiling mathematics and physics-related data for the model, and the team plans to begin collecting experimental data on her in January.
“Dr. We also need to know how it affects shrinkage, nutritional value and taste,” Moreira said. “They want to quantify the differences in the final product and ensure that new technology does not negatively impact quality.”
Dr. Patricia Smith, chair of the Department of Bioagricultural Engineering, said Moreira’s work is a great example of how faculty work synergistically to solve problems.
“I am thrilled that Dr. Moreira and her team have this opportunity to provide their input and expertise,” she said. “This project will deliver great research impact and economic benefits to a wide range of stakeholders by supporting the creation of innovative solutions for sustainable energy.”