Project Title : Environmental-friendly Cold Water Thawing for Catering Industry

Applicant : The University of Hong Kong

Total Approved Grant : $137,328.06 (jointly funded by ECF and WWGF)

Duration : 1 July 2003 - 31 March 2004

Project Status/Remarks : Completed

Scope :

To develop alternative cold water thawing processes that can minimize water consumption, resulting in an improved environmental performance and cost savings.

Summary of the Findings/Outcomes :

The aim of this project is to design an environmental-friendly cold water thawing device for the catering industry in Hong Kong. The following objectives have been achieved:

(1) To carry out Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) analyses for the defrosting processes and to optimise the process parameters, including the water flow rate and the placement of frozen meat.

(2) To conduct experimental study to verify the performance of the best cold water thawing process identified from the above analytical investigation.

(3) To conduct field test in selected restaurant(s) and collect data to determine the saving in water consumption.

Thorough computer modeling and laboratory studies have been conducted. From the analyses, simple, cheap and effective cold water thawing method is recommended. One field demonstration at a restaurant has been conducted. It is found that the recommended method can perform food thawing effectively with an estimated 90% saving in water consumption. The environmental and economic benefits to the catering industry in Hong Kong is equivalent to water conservation of 13,000,000 m3 per year and cost saving of HK$108,000,000 per year, respectively.