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liquid nitrogen can prolong the expectation of life and lock in the fantasy of delicious food.
Can life be restarted by pressing the pause button? In the hot science fiction three bodies, the protagonist suffering from a terminal disease condenses his life time by freezing, waiting for future medicine to cure and “revive”, can such an incredible brain hole become a reality? Scientists around the world are trying to find the answer in one “liquid nitrogen tank” through human body freezing technology.
Whether liquid nitrogen can really achieve the miracle of rebirth is still unknown, but among many refrigerants, liquid nitrogen with its own chemical inertia does have a more powerful “freezing magic” Therefore, the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze living tissues and organs, germ cells, embryos and other related technologies have already successfully crossed the gap between science and science fiction, and have been widely used, which has greatly promoted the development of modern medicine.
In the biomedical field, liquid nitrogen freezing technology brings good news to doctors and patients. However, for most people, they want to feel the achievements and changes brought by this technology to mankind, but they don’t want to be under the premise of physical problems. Then the most daily food may be the best carrier to bring liquid nitrogen freezing technology to life so that everyone can experience it Experience the magical surprise of “liquid nitrogen freezing magic”.
For example, cometer, an innovative frozen coffee start-up, used liquid nitrogen technology to make a 180 degree reversal of the classic coffee beans, creating a distinctive coffee ice, breaking into the coffee track as a dark horse, and successfully winning the favor of capital. So, how does this innovative coffee relate to liquid nitrogen? Liquid nitrogen refrigeration technology is widely used in the food field What footprints have been left and where should we go in the future?
Liquid nitrogen ice: drink coffee another way!
Cometer, a coffee start-up company located in Massachusetts, was founded by Matthew Roberts, a computer scientist. As a coffee lover, he has been committed to jumping out of the traditional mode of coffee making and trying to build a new process and product form that can completely retain the flavor and quality of high-quality coffee beans.
Cometer has a scientific research team led by outstanding chemists and engineers of MIT and cooperates with Top Coffee Roasters to create convenient and sophisticated coffee products through modern technology and high-quality raw materials. For “flavor is the soul” For coffee, ensuring that most flavor compounds remain unchanged throughout the baking and brewing process is the core of the whole processing technology.
By exploring the chemical properties of coffee and how to retain its flavor characteristics, cometer realized that rapid freezing is the best way to maintain complex flavor. Ultra low temperature quick freezing can realize instantaneous freezing to keep fresh, which has incomparable advantages over other methods such as bottling or dehydration.
In order to obtain the ultimate freshness of top coffee, cometer seals the coffee bean extract in an aluminum capsule and quickly freezes it in nitrogen at minus 196 ℃ to form coffee ice. This liquid nitrogen bath can quickly lock the extraordinary freshness and flavor of coffee. Compared with ordinary packaged coffee beans on the shelf, the liquid nitrogen coffee ice can be stored in the refrigerator for three years and can be maintained Excellent flavor quality as fresh brewed coffee without any preservatives.
Cometeer believes that when making coffee at home, the coffee powder is usually ground unevenly and will produce grinding residue, and the coffee ice can be taken out of the capsule package cleanly, which can solve the problem of coffee residue residue. In addition, the longer shelf life and using only one ice at a time also mean less food or coffee waste.
In addition to reducing extra waste, the convenient form of coffee ice also allows more people to make and taste premium coffee in a busy morning. Just take out cometer coffee ice from the refrigerator, put it into a cup, and then pour hot water. A cup of premium coffee will be born immediately, so that you can easily reproduce the master’s top coffee at home.
Source: Food & Wine Magazine
The high convenience and the quality not inferior to the master’s handwriting are not so much a new breakthrough of instant coffee as a new species of coffee beyond instant coffee. For a long time, instant coffee has given the public a fixed impression of poor quality but convenient drinking. In recent years, with the development of technology, some fast coffee brewing that pays attention to quality and drinking experience Methods began to emerge. Instant coffee is no longer faster than quality, but a “fast” coffee comparable to slow coffee.
Cometeer’s innovative coffee ice will push the trend of this fast drinking coffee step forward. By freezing liquid nitrogen to perfect the essence of the perfect coffee, you can enjoy super fresh coffee at home at any time, which is quietly changing the habit of people drinking coffee.
Liquid nitrogen coffee ice has also attracted a large number of coffee experts and investors. Cometer recently announced that it has completed the round B financing of USD 35 million, with a total financing amount of USD 100 million. Roberts, the founder of the company, said that cometer is transforming and further expanding its direct consumer oriented business, but at the same time, it will also conduct market launch tests at George Howell cafe in Boston, develop B2B coffee solutions, and focus its products on corporate gifts.
Fresh locking, crushing and molecular cooking:
Eighteen martial arts of liquid nitrogen technology
Freezing is one of the oldest methods widely used in food preservation. It can better retain the flavor, texture and nutritional value of food than any method. As early as 1755, when people successfully produced a small amount of ice without relying on the cold of winter for the first time, it meant that the era of frozen food came quietly.
Despite getting rid of the refrigeration mode of “relying on heaven”, there are still thorns in food freezing. If the freezing speed is slow, it is easy to form large ice crystals, thus damaging the food cell membrane. When thawing, the ice crystals melt, resulting in water seepage, which also greatly affects the taste and texture of food. At that time, the food industry was racking its brains on how to “speed up” freezing. In 1883, Polish physicists Zygmunt and Karol brought the debut of “liquid nitrogen” to the world, providing a new technical carrier for rapid freezing.
Liquid nitrogen quick freezing technology refers to freezing food by absorbing a large amount of latent heat and sensible heat through the contact between liquid nitrogen and food. It uses the huge temperature difference between the and the product to release the great freezing strength, so that the product can quickly pass through the ice crystal generation belt to reach the vitrification freezing state. Liquid nitrogen freezing makes the ice crystals formed by water in food uniform and fine, with minimal damage to food. The thawed food can basically maintain its original color, aroma and taste. With the increasing demand for high-quality frozen food, the practical application value of liquid nitrogen ultra-low temperature freezing technology in food industry is becoming more and more prominent.
The application forms of liquid nitrogen freezing are very diverse, and the most basic function is to lock the freshness of food materials with liquid nitrogen; With the help of liquid nitrogen, high-efficiency crushing can be completed at low temperature. Liquid nitrogen technology can crush the skin, meat and shell of raw materials at one time, so as to make the finished particles small and maintain effective nutrition. For example, in Japan, seaweed, chitin, vegetables and condiments frozen by liquid nitrogen are put into a pulverizer to crush, and the particle size of the finished product can be reduced to 100 μ Below m, the original nutritional value is basically maintained. In addition, liquid nitrogen can crush high-fat meat, vegetables and other food raw materials that are difficult to crush at room temperature, and create a new form of processed food, such as egg juice, liquid seasoning and soy sauce into granular frozen food that can flow freely and pour out.
“Beauty” details can not be underestimated for the addition of food. For example, the number of coating layers of rice sauce and the baking brand of chicken breast are all paving the way for 20% artistic processing in the kitchen. In the coating application, ultra-low temperature enables liquid nitrogen to wrap a single quick-frozen product in the sauce during freezing, which helps to produce a uniform coating and present a more extreme food form.
For frozen dessert, the main part of the product is hardened in the low-temperature tunnel, and then the topping is frozen so that it will not mix with the main body. This layered treatment makes the texture and flavor of frozen dessert to a higher level.
In addition to creating innovative texture and taste, liquid nitrogen technology has also frequently appeared in the field of high-end catering. It has been popular in Europe and America for many years, and “molecular cuisine” has sprung up in the domestic high-end catering industry in recent years Roe roe is a new experience in the cuisine. It can bring the potato to a new experience of visual and taste. It can make potato appear in foam, and turn Lichee into caviar. The entrance caviar burst at the tip of the mouth but it smells like litchi. All kinds of magical food cannot do without the low temperature cooking with liquid nitrogen freezing technology as the core.
The commercial scale application of liquid nitrogen can be traced back to the United States in the 1950s and officially used in quick-frozen food processing in 1960. The application of liquid nitrogen in China started late and began to be introduced in the 1980s, but it has not formed large-scale production.
Around 2005, China began to promote the liquid nitrogen quick freezer imported from Europe. At that time, the domestic liquid nitrogen cost was too high, the profit margin of the food industry was generally low, and the market acceptance was not high; until 2015, the new generation of consumers were more sensitive to quality, taste, taste and scene, the consumption habits began to change, the rent and labor cost of the catering industry increased, and the production cost was relatively high The comprehensive benefits of liquid nitrogen technology became more and more obvious and began to be sought after by the market.
Source: pureair monitoringsystems
With the rapid development of liquid nitrogen technology, the hidden dangers behind it are still problems that we can’t despise. For example, nitrogen is non-toxic, but too much released volume will reduce the oxygen concentration, and there is the risk of asphyxia and frostbite. It is particularly important for the safety design of liquid nitrogen quick freezing equipment and the effective monitoring of environmental nitrogen concentration.
In addition, there are many studies on the application of liquid nitrogen quick freezing technology in various foods at home and abroad, but most of them only focus on specific foods, with weak regularity and practicability and lack of guiding significance for industrial production. The popularization and expansion of liquid nitrogen quick freezing technology is constrained. Therefore, in the future, to study the law and effect of liquid nitrogen quick freezing of different foods and finally find the optimal liquid nitrogen quick freezing process for a specific food is still a subject that needs to be jointly dealt with between academic circles and enterprise circles.
Subvert traditional forms and create wonderful experiences:
Liquid nitrogen technology promotes category renewal
According to the verified market research data, the global liquid nitrogen market will reach US $15.22 billion in 2020 and is expected to increase to US $21.83 billion by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate of 4.74%. The increasing adaptation of food and beverage industry to liquid nitrogen is an important factor to accelerate market growth.
Source: verified Market Research
At present, the most well-known liquid nitrogen food is liquid nitrogen ice cream. Fast freezing in liquid nitrogen environment, the fat and water particles in ice cream are kept in a small range, ice crystals will not be formed, the taste is more silky and the texture is more dense. Liquid nitrogen ice cream does not need to add stabilizer or emulsifier. It integrates high quality and cleaning label, and has won the love of many consumers.
The American dippin’dots brand renovates the ice cream with liquid nitrogen and quickly freezes it into small particles – ice cream beads. The grain size of ice crystal is 40 to 50 times smaller than that of ordinary ice cream. It tastes cold, sweet and smooth. It is an interesting snack perfect for hot summer. The brand sells about 1 million 500 thousand gallons of ice cream beads annually, which are distributed in 100 shopping centers and retail stores, 107 amusement parks, more than 1000 stadiums, cinemas and other entertainment places in the United States, and continuously develop derivatives, such as the Harry and Potter theme ice cream linked to Universal Studios.
If the small ice cream is not enough to surprise and surprise people, the coffee ice beads launched by 40 below Joe subvert everyone’s imagination of coffee with the dual image of “both eating and drinking”. It freezes fresh coffee into coffee ice beads with liquid nitrogen, and consumers can reheat it at any time to make a cup of coffee, or simply enjoy it as frozen food with a spoon, just like enjoying ice cream, and feel the unique stimulation of frozen coffee beads on taste.
A smell of cream mixed with caramel flavor comes to the nose. Grasping a handful of fresh and hot popcorn is a classic option for many people in cinemas. However, Novo cinemas cinema in the United Arab Emirates launched a frozen popcorn on a whim. With the enhancement of flavor, the product makes the exploded grains freeze in a few seconds through safe edible liquid nitrogen. When chewing, you can enjoy the wonderful experience of spitting clouds and fog, which is full of immortality.
Strongzero is an innovative drink from Suntory, Japan. In 2018 alone, the total sales volume exceeded 240 million liters (about 85 million cans), setting a Guinness world record. In Japan, it is called chuhi (shochu and highball). Shochu is a wine made from potatoes or rice. Highball is a drink made of strong alcohol (vodka, whisky…) and soda or mineral water. The fresh fruit components contained in the drink are first frozen with – 196 ° C liquid nitrogen to retain the fruit flavor to the greatest extent, and then the whole fruit is crushed and soaked in vodka to finally make the drink.
Generally speaking, food processing technology generally focuses on the stability and improvement of product quality, strives to get rid of the influence of time and environment, and restore the “most authentic and fresh experience” of food to consumers.
With the advent of the new food era, consumer demand is constantly changing and upgrading, especially the strong desire of generation Z to “taste fresh”. The “freshness” pursued by food in the past has obviously been given a new meaning: it is not only the basis of quality preservation, but also the innovative driving force to subvert the product form. Product and category innovation is inseparable from technical support. In addition to the help of new technologies, there are also some innovative applications of “mature technologies”.
Liquid nitrogen freezing technology, which has emerged from modern therapeutics, mainly solves the needs of low-temperature preservation. Now in the hands of food developers, it has become a “sharp weapon” to create unique texture and taste. From “coffee ice”, “liquid nitrogen ice cream” to “frozen popcorn”, the new species created by liquid nitrogen have refreshed consumers’ impression of liquid nitrogen freezing, showing the huge commercial potential of this technology.
We expect that liquid nitrogen technology will become the core engine of more disruptive innovation in the future, injecting strong energy into the breaking circle and outward extension of traditional categories!
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