Author Topic: Quick Freezing (Preservation of Food? Organs? Etc)  (Read 2521 times)

Offline sanman

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I came across some articles on a company called ABI, headed by an engineer named Norio Owada, and their CAS Freezer (CAS stands for "Cells Alive System")

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2008/0602/076.html

http://sciencelinks.jp/content/view/955/287/

http://foodreview.ihs.com/news/2006/re-invention-freezer.htm

Basically, it uses electric/magnetic fields to keep water molecules inside food/whatever rotating while lowering the temperature to nearly -10 degC, thus preventing them from forming ice crystals in the meantime. Then it suddenly cuts off the fields, causing the food/whatever to rapidly freeze, before ice crystals have a chance to form.

Besides being useful for maintaining food freshnesh, it's also being considered for preserving organs and other perishable tissues, etc.

I was thinking that maybe this would be particularly useful for preserving food and other perishables in space.

I dunno if it could even be adapted for cryogenically freezing people too, for long voyages, or if someone has an untreatable medical problem?

At least with this method, you don't have to inject the subject with special anti-freeze agents to suppress formation of damaging crystals.

Offline docmordrid

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Re: Quick Freezing (Preservation of Food? Organs? Etc)
« Reply #1 on: 01/25/2011 09:22 PM »
An 87% success rate with just tooth ligaments sounds a bit iffy - do we send bigger crews just to make up for those lost to freezer burn?

Now consider ICE = Induced Cooling by Ems

ICE techs are already being deployed to EMS units in the US on a test basis to put victims into a form of hypothermic stasis until they can get to a trauma center and into an OR. The idea is to warm them only after repairs. While in that state metabolism is nearly stopped and the brain shifts into park & shuts off. So do most mechanisms that cause brain damage.

Real tech guys - not pie in the sky. As they improve these and other techs (ex: hydrogen sulfide & other agents) they will likely be the basis of human "storage." 
« Last Edit: 01/26/2011 03:19 AM by docmordrid »
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Offline sanman

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Re: Quick Freezing (Preservation of Food? Organs? Etc)
« Reply #2 on: 01/26/2011 02:22 AM »
Okay, but how about preserving food? Imagine your lunar/martian colony is producing food through local agriculture. It would be nice to buffer food stocks by storing and preserving as much as possible. The quick-freezing method described above could be useful for that.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Quick Freezing (Preservation of Food? Organs? Etc)
« Reply #3 on: 01/26/2011 02:30 AM »
A lot of the foods you already buy frozen are frozen through a process called "individually flash frozen" whereby they items are frozen one at a time, and frozen very quickly using fast-moving cryogenic fluids.  This works really well on things like frozen peas, where you'd otherwise get a big block of frozen veggies that would thaw and cook into mush if this technique weren't used.

Offline docmordrid

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Re: Quick Freezing (Preservation of Food? Organs? Etc)
« Reply #4 on: 01/26/2011 03:17 AM »
Usually liquid nitrogen or a mix of dry ice & ethanol.
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Offline sanman

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Re: Quick Freezing (Preservation of Food? Organs? Etc)
« Reply #5 on: 01/26/2011 03:28 PM »
Maybe the 2 techniques could be complementary, if used together.

Bear in mind that in outer space, cryo fluids may be at a premium. The electric field method could be easier to achieve.

Offline sanman

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Re: Quick Freezing (Preservation of Food? Organs? Etc)
« Reply #6 on: 01/27/2011 02:45 AM »
It just occurred to me - could this technique somehow be adapted to synthesize glassy metal alloys? You know, the ones that have extra stiffness, resiliency and tensile strength because they're so non-crystalline that it's hard for cracks to propagate and cleave the material at a macroscopic level.

Usually, metallic glasses are synthesized by rapid quenching that cools the material so quickly that its molecules stay in a chaotic non-crystalline arrangement.

I was thinking that perhaps this other method of rapid freezing could be similarly useful in some circumstances.

Offline SiriusGrey

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Re: Quick Freezing (Preservation of Food? Organs? Etc)
« Reply #7 on: 01/27/2011 09:43 AM »
Since pure metals are elemental and not molecular, and therefore have no rotational degrees of freedom, this method would not be applicable.

Sirius

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