Laatu™ - Microbial Reduction Solution

Enhancing food integrity, traceability and sustainability in industrial food processing through digitalisation. 

What is Laatu?

Laatu is a new in-plant solution for eliminating foodborne pathogens in industrial dry food processing. It exposes controlled low energy electrons to the surface of dry foods without agitating its internal matrix, enabling a better preservation of nutritional, functional and sensory properties of food. Laatu provides an efficient reduction of harmful microorganisms, including spores, with field trials consistently showing a 5-Log reduction or more of Salmonella. It does not use chemicals, water or radioactive sources and has the advantage of a low environmental footprint by cutting the energy consumption by up to 80% in comparison to steam equipment.

With a potential of by capturing processing parameters, dates, times and product batches in real-time, stored reports could be used to support a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan and ensuring the food safety.

This year Laatu will be released for spices and its implementation for other dry food markets is under development. 

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Why the need for Laatu?

Traceability

Improving food safety and reducing waste

By working in collaboration with Microsoft, the potential of digitalising Laatu improves efficiency, transparency, and traceability throughout the food supply chain to ensure food safety and reduce food waste.

Quality

Preservation of food quality

Due to the limited penetration depth of low energy electrons the technology can offer a gentle surface decontamination with better preservation of nutritional, functional and sensory properties of the food.

Sustainability

Low environmental impact, economically sustainable

Laatu can be easily integrated into existing processes and plant. It uses no chemicals, radioactive sources, or water and consumes less energy when compared to existing microbial reduction techniques.

The Laatu solution

Bühler is constantly working on pioneering, innovative and sustainable solutions for the food processing industry. Our aim is to drive down irresponsible use of natural resources and waste production whilst ensuring that we deliver credible solutions that offer security in food safety. We do this by incorporating new digital technologies, science and in the case of Laatu – physics into our solutions.

How it works

Laatu features specialized and contained lamps that generate a cloud of low energy electrons. Each seed or grain free-falls into the contained area and is homogenously exposed to the electrons, inactivating pathogenic microorganisms present. This process is done in milliseconds.

A process that saves energy and spendings

     

Production data

Production data, including moisture content and other variables, is continually collected from a network of sensors.

Cloud platform

On our Microsoft Azure based cloud platform, the data is run through proprietary algorithms, developed on decades of drying expertise.

Real time

Dryer controls are manipulated in real time, continually optimizing the drying process, achieving the perfect moisture content.

Benefits of using Laatu

Efficient reduction of pathogens

Effective technology with field trials showing consistent 5-Log reduction or more on Salmonella. Foodborne pathogens, including spores, are eliminated in milliseconds – potential for scalability and industrial processing.

Preservation of food quality

Non-invasive and gentle, targeting surface of seed or grain only. No impact to integrity or internal structure.

Reduced waste and safe

Low energy and water consumption – up to 90% savings, compared to current steam techniques. Its small footprint also means, the Laatu can be integrated into existing plants and processes.

Reduced raw material costs

Reduced raw material costs.

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