Understanding cooling die scalability and protein texturization

2024 – 2026

The project aims to design practical variations of extruder cooling dies and study the impacts of cooling gradient, die dimensions, and mass flow rates.

Production platform: Plant-Based

Technology sector: End product formulation & manufacturing, Ingredient optimization, Scaffolding

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Project aims

This project aims to redesign the cooling die used for manufacturing high moisture meat analog plant protein products through engineering principles and changes in the food ingredients as impacted by processing. Practical variations of extruder cooling dies will be designed, followed by their implementation in lab and pilot scale studies, where cooling gradient, cooling die dimensions, and mass flow rates will be altered. These efforts aim to yield simple-to-implement mathematical models that can assist the industry in predicting the required cooling die dimensions, cooling die channel number, and cooling media capacity needed to produce HMMA at a commercially relevant production rate. The practical scale-up research aspects of this project will be supplemented with chemical analyses and texture evaluation methods previously applied by this group to better understand the texturization process from a thermochemical perspective and qualitative process-product quality relationship, respectively.

Spotlight on research: Explore the poster presentation from the 2023 Good Food Conference

Principal researchers

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Girish Ganjyal

Professor & Extension Food Processing Specialist, School of Food Science

Washington State University, United States

Girish established the Food Processing Extension and Research program at WSU in 2013. He has mentored 28 graduate students as their major advisor and provided research experience opportunities for 42 undergraduate students. His team research focuses on extrusion, baking, and frying processes, as well as food ingredient modifications and functionality.

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