Interview: FRISBEE Project

The coolingEU secretariat had the opportunity to interview  Graciela Alvarez, Frisbee Project coordinator and Research Director Director of the Refrigeration Research Unit at IRSTEA (Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l’environnement et l’agriculture)

First of all, Ms Alvarez, thank you very much for taking the time to have this interview.

Q. The FRISBEE Project is a European Union funded Project which objective was to provide new tools, concepts and solutions for improving refrigeration technologies along the European food cold chain. Could you please explain us a bit more what the FRISBEE project is about?

A. FRISBEE  project (Food Refrigeration Innovations for Safety, Consumers’ Benefit, Environmental impact and energy optimization along the cold chain in Europe) is a Refrigeration Innovation for Food Cold Chain Research European project IP. The four-year, 6 Million euro project was funded mainly through the EU’s 7th Framework Programme.

FRISBEE  allowed to combine know how and skills from 26 partners in Europe  including 13 companies, 11 research institutes or universities, and 2 non-governmental organizations.

FRISBEE  contributed to energy consumption reductions in food refrigeration processes. Worldwide, Food refrigeration consumes 8% of all energy and is responsible for 2.5% of greenhouse gas emissions; therefore any reduction in those figures will be a big improvement.

Q. The attention on cooling  in the research area is very recent, what was the motivation behind this EU project dedicated to refrigeration technologies?

A. EU had already identified a problem with food cold chain in Europe. The European Commission launched in 2009 a call :  KBBKBBE-2009-2-3-01, where EU requested projects from European research teams  on “New solutions for improving refrigeration technologies  along the cold chain”;FRISBEE project was developed according to this call and was selected among the projects submitted.

Q. After the completion of this research project, what is the situation of the European food cold chain?

A. FRISBEE Project has developed many important results:

  • A large database on cold chain containing more than 14000 files on cold chain along Europe.
  • A new tool software able to optimize any cold chain based of Food quality modelling- energy consumption and environmental impact.
  • Innovating technologies such as superchilling, New packaging  to offer more protection in case of temperature abuse.
  • A Disruptive technology was developed for household refrigerator. A new prototype based on Magnetic refrigeration was launched.

Q. The FRISBEE tool is software for assessing cold chains with respect to quality of products, energy use and the CO2 emission (environmental) impact of the refrigeration technologies involved in the cold chain. Is this tool intended to help the European Union targets for fighting against climate change?

A. The tool could indeed target climate change as any scenario can be studied including ambient temperatures changes.

Q. The FRISBEE tool is based on Monte Carlo simulation. Could tell us a bit more about it?

A. From the FRISBEE database (14.000 data) we can obtain statistic distributions for temperatures and residence times of the food products  for each step of the cold chain.  From these Temperature distributions we can obtain random set of data  up to 10 000 random temperatures for each  step of the cold chain, then we obtain a reference profile of temperatures and its extremes. We implement this in our Frisbee Tool .

Q. And just to conclude, what are the results of the project?

A. FRISBEE Project has developed many important results:

  • A large database on cold chain containing more than 14000 files on cold chain along Europe.
  • A new tool software able to optimize any coldchain based of Food quality modelling- energy consumption and environmental impact.
  • Many Innovating technologies such as super chilling, New packaging to offer more protection in case of temperature abuse. Advanced control for warehouses.
  • A Disruptive technology was developed for household refrigerator. A new prototype based on Magnetic refrigeration was launched.

We have launched an international network  based on volunteer basis to keep the effort at international level.

To know more about the FRISBEE project  and its tool visit its website here.