NXP uses the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to show “the world’s first reference design for automated frozen food defrosting and thawing”. It can be used as the basis for stand-alone smart defrost countertop kitchen appliances (like a microwave) or integrated into other kitchen appliances such as refrigerators or cooking appliances such as ovens. The NXP Smart Defrost Solution, based on NXP components and software, addresses the problem of fast and safe food defrosting while reducing food waste, and preserving moisture and nutrition. This innovation makes it possible to defrost food items such as ground beef, fish, fruits or vegetables in only a few minutes.

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“Conventional methods of defrosting frozen food in a residential kitchen are limited by the amount of time, attention required, difficulty in achieving full defrost and even temperature results, as well as ensuring safe food practices”, NXP states. “Simple methods such as letting frozen food thaw on a counter, in a water bath, or in a refrigerator take a long time and can require personal attention to monitor the progress. Letting food sit on a countertop or in water also introduces the risk of bacterial contamination, since exterior surfaces of the food are exposed to temperatures which promote the growth of bacteria. Using a conventional microwave oven to speed up the process often results in uneven thawing with hot spots and cold spots.”

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    According to Robert Wilson, president and co-founder of the Arizona Culinary Institute, “the guesswork and risk of uneven results and introducing unsafe bacteria will finally be removed from the defrosting process.”

    The NXP smart defrost reference design is a set of fully engineered sub-system solutions that enable OEMs to bring differentiated appliances incorporating this functionality to market with minimal engineering. The solution performs real-time monitoring and adjustment of its operation during the entire defrost process helping to ensure efficient and effective energy transfer during the full cycle of defrosting. “This is important since food properties change as the temperature of the food changes”, said Paul Hart, Senior Vice President of RF Power at NXP. “Prior attempts to introduce smart defrosting technologies failed in large part due to their cumbersome size and high cost.”

    NXP’s smart defrost reference design will be available on a limited basis in the first quarter 2018 and expected to be generally available in the second quarter 2018. The smart defrost reference design will be showcased in a countertop appliance form factor at CES 2018.

    Source: press release NXP

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    Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.