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Challenge 2 - Understanding the Kinetics of Ice Crystallization in Mycoproteins (Marlow Foods)

Background to Challenge

Mycoproteins are attracting an ever-growing interest due to their potential to serve as meat substitutes [1]. Freezing is one of the crucial aspects involved with the production of these novel foods – not only as a necessity in terms of their storage, but as an avenue to develop a suitable texture of the final product as well [2]. However, while an extensive body of work has been devoted in the past to the freezing of meat, several aspects concerning the formation of ice in mycoproteins remain largely unexplored and/or poorly understood. In particular, we are currently lacking a model for the kinetics of ice crystallization – and with that, the ability to control the formation of ice so as to improve on e.g. the texture of the existing meat substitutes.

Expected Outcomes of Study Group

Leveraging experimental data obtained from the study of ice formation in both meat and mycoprotein, this Study Group seeks to lay the foundations of a model capable to describe (and, ideally, to predict) the kinetics of ice crystallization in Mycoproteins. In the process, we hope to gain insight into different aspect of the freezing procedure, such as the impact of the cooling rate or the presence of specific additives to the product. While time-dependent data will be used to explore the effectiveness of bespoke Avrami-like phenomenological models, the data concerning the different freezing conditions could be used to attempt a machine learning-based classification model with e.g. grain size distribution or even a measure of texture as target properties.



[1] F. Hashempour-Baltork, K. Khosravi-Darani, H. Hosseini, P. Farshi, S.F.S. Reihani, J. Clean. Prod. 253 (2020) 119958.
[2] T.J.A. Finnigan, in: G.O. Phillips, P.A. Williams (Eds.), Handb. Food Proteins, Woodhead Publishing, 2011, pp. 335–352.