New technologies are the tools at our disposal to respond to new consumer demands (new foods adapted to new consumer habits).

The consumer demands foods of excellent SENSORY QUALITY, suitable HEALTH properties, consistent with the desired FOOD SAFETY, fresh, natural and respectful foods that are respectful to the environment SECURITY (SUSTEINABILITY). In turn, market trends require new products with optimized shelf life and presentations that make the product easy-to-consume (convenience).

To meet such demands, XaRTA has the following technologies:

1. processing and preservation

2. packaging

3. quality control and diagnostics


Market trends, focalized towards more fresh-like products, imply that those products are highly perishable. Therefore, an efficient method for conservation is required:

1) Conventional thermal treatments:

  • Loss of nutrient
  • Modification of the organoleptic properties
  • Does not meet new consumer demands
2) Alternative thermal and non-thermal treatments (emerging methods):

  • Minimum processing, sensory and nutritional impact
  • Reduction of environmental impact
  • Offer expansion
  • Meets new consumer demands

Technique Advantages Systems Applications


  • convection oven (max T: 300)
  • tubular pasteurizer (50 L/h)
  • 2 pasteurizer plates (200 and 500L/h)
  • tubular pasteurizer (500L/h)
  • portable pasteurizer (50 a 200L/h)
  • electric pasteurizer (50 to 200L/h)
  • laboratory pasteurizer
  • static autoclave (300L)
  • autoclave (100L)
  • esterilizador multitube UHT sterilizer (1000 L/h)
  • sterilization
  • colorants
  • inorganic and synthetic antioxidants
  • nitrites
  • CO
  • BHA
  • BHT
  • TBHQ
  • polyamines (putrescine, spermidine, spermine, …)
Ohmic heating (CO)
  • high energy efficiency (95% conversion)
  • reduces the risk of contamination
  • Rapid and effective heating
  • Continuous processing
  • High penetration capacity: CO> RF> MO
Its high penetration capacity makes it especially useful in the case particulate food:

  • sauces, purées, liquid egg products, meat
Radiofrequency (RF)
  • ràpid, homogeneous and controlled heating
  • energy efficiency
  • Internal heat generation
  • continuous processed
  • radiofrequency tunnel (27.12 MHz / speed: 0-0.7m/min)
Applicable to pasteurization, heating, cooking and thawing of a large variety of foods:

  • thawing of meat, fish and food in general, fruits, fried foods without oil, sliced bread without crust, drying of ice cream products / pastries, toasted nuts, prepared pasteurized dishes.
Microwaves MO
  • homogeneous heating
  • industrial microwave tunnel (2.45 GHZ / velocity: 0-0.3 m/min)
  • microwave oven 2450 MHz (15 L)
  • microwave oven 5800 MHz (17 L)

  • meats, salted meats, hamburgers, fish, ice cream and vegetables, and cooked dishes, oven products and cooked or semi-cooked
  • no microcrystals are formed that break cell structure and cause food dehydration
  • freezer / liquid nitrogen temperature blast chiller (30 ° C / -100 ° C)
  • carnes, carnes saladas, hamburgesas, pescados, helados y verduras, platos ya cocidos, productos de horno ya cocidos o semicocidos
High isostatic pressures

  • development of new textures
  • higyenization of foods
  • improvement of the peeling process (yield increase) in seafood
  • minimizing the use of additives

Ultra high homogenization pressure system

  • 15L/h, Pmax: 330 MPa

High pressure industrial equipment

  • 50L, Pmax: 500 MPa, T: -20 a 90ºC
  • 120 L, maxP: 650 MPa

Ultra high pressure pilot equipment

  • 2 L, maxP: 900 MPa
  • 300 ml, maxP:900 MPa, T: -20 and 90 ºC

Cold pasteurization of packaged foods:

1. Solid foods, preferably packed in vacuum

  • cooked or cured meat products, cheese, fish, seafood, salted fish, fruits, jams, vegetables

2. Liquid foods, in sufficeintly  flexible packaging

  • dairy products, fruit juices
High intensity electrical pulses
  • improvement of nutritional quality
  • PowerMod™ 25 kW Pulsed Electried Field Treatment System, from Diversified Technologies, Inc. Pilot plan treatment System  (400 L/h)
  • Continuous and discontinous processing systems

Fluid foodstuffs:

  • meat products (pastes and emulsions)
  • juices (tomato, watermelon, carrots, strawberries and broccoli)
  • milk and dairy derivatives
  • liquid egg and egg products
  • syrups, sauces, purees, soups, broths, etc.
High intensity light pulses
  • hygienisation of surfaces and food packaging
  • meat
  • fish
  • fresh cut products (champignon/mushrooms, avocado, watermelon)
  • prepared dishes
Membrane technology:

– microfiltration
– ultrafiltration
– nanofiltration
– reverse osmosis

  • extraction and concentration of value added solutes (polyphenols, proteins, aromas, ferments, …)
  • liquid fractionation
  • micro/ultra/nano filtration and inverse osmosis system
  • Laboratory plants  and tangential flow filtration system (micro, ultra, nano and inverse osmosis) and absorption and ionic exchange
  • potable, waste and quality water, milk, juice, wine and beer, fruit juices, meats, fish, fruits and vegetables, eggs, sugar, oils and fats
Quick Drying System (QDS) ®
  • ultrafast drying
  • yield improvement
  • waste diminution
  • / new formats and products
  • Continous QDS process system
  • ultra fast drying of sliced meat products
Dynamic drier ®
  • On-line product quality control
  • energy optimization
  • Six 4 m2 dryers
  • 1 industrial dryer
  • 1 industrial scale dryer
  • 8 refrigeration chambers and 4 freezing chambers
  • Several foods
  • rapid drying
  • High yield
  • Mobile MinorTM2000
  • atomizer Spray-dryer Lab-Plant SD-05
    Bucchi Mini Spray Dryer B-191 atomizer

Wide range of heat sensitive or non-sensitive liquids or suspensions:

  • milk and dairy products, egg products, slaughterhouse by-products (blood, gelatin, …), food ingredients (enzymes, vitamins, dextrose, …), coffee, soup mixes, fruit juices
Fluid bed dryer
  • rapid drying
  • High yield
  • Dehydration through a fluidized bed system

Wide range of heat sensitive and non-sensitive foodd:

  • baby food, peas, lentils, milk and dairy products, egg products, microbial cultures, coffee, peanuts, yeast, spices, grains, sauces, seeds, food ingredients (dextrose, citric acid, lactose, casein, vitamins)
  • Lyophilization systems
  • quality improvement of raw materials of vegetable and animal origin (OMG)
  • Guaranteeing and standardization of organoleptic properties of the final product (new indicator cultures)
  • beneficial effects on health (probiotic cultures)
  • improves processes and products by producing enzymes (biocatalysts), additives, vitamins, amino acids (from microorganisms or GMOs). Allows to produce compounds that cannot be obtained by chemical synthesis or are traditionally obtained in small quantities, optimizes production and reduces the environmental impact of chemical synthesis.
  • increases shelf life and food safety and reduces the use of preservatives without modifying the sensory characteristics of food (biopreservatives)

Fermentation pilot plant:

  • 2 Fermenters (90 L and 100 L)
  • Fermentation camerca
  • 2 labortory scale fermenters (5 L)
  • Fermentation area

Several foods

  • cárnicos/meat
  • fruit and vegetables
  • dried fruits
  • vinegar
  • wine
  • milk and its derivatives
  • bread
  • fish
  • alcoholic drinks
  • oils and fats
  • cereals


Once  the desired product is achieved, an efficient packaging is extremely important to maintain quality during storage, transportation, marketing, and end use. Packaging has evolved from being mainly a protective barrie, to being a functional element that interacts with food, its environment and the consumer, allowing:

  • to troubleshoot commercial distribution issues
  • to improve the maintenance of sensory and nutritional properties
  • to increase shelf  life improving food safety
  • to encourage the purchase by the consumer
Technique Advantages Systems
Packaging systems
  • Elimination of gas from the container

Aseptic packaging line:

  • Heat sealing packaging machine (vacuum, skin or MAP): 4 bandejas por ciclo
  • Skin sealing machine (vacuum or skin): from 1 to 9 trays per cycle
  • Aseptic tank for fluids (600L)
  • Tetra Brik aseptic filling machine 9 (200 mL)

Packaging line:

  • Vacuum and MAP packaging machines
  • Manual multiformat NIMCO liquid packaging machine (200, 250, 500 and 1000mL)
  • Tetra Recard pacakaging machine for foods with particles
    48 microchambers CAP[EDS1] (200 L)- 3 chambers CAP (23 m3)


Modified atmospheres (MAP)
  • Replacement of air in the container by a fixed gas mixture
  • The modifications in composition are not corrected during storage.
  • Minimizes the use of additives and preservatives
Controlled atmospheres (CAP)
  • Maintenance of the composition of the atmosphere during storage, previously modified or not.
Packaging types
Passive packaging
  • Protection from external aggression
Active packaging
  • Protection from external aggression
  • Incorporation of components that release or eliminate substances to control the quality of the food (interaction with the environment or food)
  • Avoids elevated amounts of additives and preservatives
  • Enhancement  of characteristics
  • Improvement of properties
  • Response of the package against changes that occur
Smart packaging
  • Protection from external aggression
  • Use of some component or packaging material to register and provide information to the consumer on the history and status of the package and / or food
  • Temperature Indicators, microbial growth, gases, etc.
Edible packaging
  • Protection from external aggression
  • Enhancement  of characteristics
  • Beneficial to the environment (reducing the use of plastic)
  • Reduces the use of additives and preservatives
Skin packaging
  • Protection from external aggression
  • Use of multiple films
  • A transparent film wraps the product (skin) and enhances its presentation.
  • Product components are fixed by the skin film that preserves the shape and freshness.


Consumer demand for safer and higher quality products, along with the need to ensure corporate earnings, has translated into traceability and certification requirements for production processes in the food industry. This, in turn, has improved raw materials control, processing processes and final product.

Improved control involves the development of:

a) Advanced methods of analysis

  • rapid and specific
  • characterization, detection, identification and quantification of properties, compounds or organisms.
  • microbiological, physico-chemical, sensory, and genetics assessment.
b) Non-invasive automated systems (sensors)

  • reduction in the cost of personnel and analytical reagents
  • increased control and data capture or quality parameters
  • there is no contact with the food (better food security)
  • 100% inspection and in real time (immediate correction)
Technique Advantages Systems Applications
Non-invasive automated methods (Sensors)
Microwave spectrometry
  • rapidity in the obtainment of results
  • Sequid RFQ Scan (10 Hz – 5 GHz)
  • determination of dielectric properties, salt content determination, freezing traceability, and food composition.
Near infrared (NIR)
  • spectrometer NIR ( T: 35ºC)
  • on-line semiautemated probes: Fat-O-Meater.
  • Optic fiber spectrometer
  • CoAgulite coagulation sensors
  • LFV syneresis sensors
  • determination of composition (water, fat, etc.) and other parameters of technological quality of liquid or solid foods
  • on-line semiautomated probes: Ultafom
  • totally automated on-line methods: Autofom
  • acoustic non-destructive systems
  • measure of fat thickness and muscle, weight, or composition in different areas of the channel
  • Non- destructive method by fluorimetry
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR/MRI)
  • Composition of the foods
Oxygen in MAP (modified atmosphere) packaging
  • Easy to use
  • High reliability
  • Oxygen measurer ( T: -20 – 60 ºC)
  • non-invasive analysis of oxygen in packaging

Artificial vision

  • camera system
  • Automatic vision system (VCS 2000)
  • detection of defects, measure of freshness, detection of foreign bodies in foods
X-ray tomography
  • imaging of sections of food
  • accurate measure of quality parameters
  • CT system
  • studies of the internal structure and composition (lean, fat, bones, etc.) in live animals and food
  • optimization of elaboration processes (prediction of salt content, H2O and aw)
  • diffusion studies of solutes (salt) in foods
Electronic nose
  • 2 electronic noses
  • application to sensory analysis and to the study of aromàtic maturation of foods
Advanced analysis
Chemical analysis

Instrumental analysis laboratory:

gas chromatography (GC) with conventional (MS, MS/MS, FID, NPD, ECD) and olphatometric detectors (O)

  • liquid (HPLC, UPLC, FPLC) with conventional detectors (MS, DAD, IR, UV-VIS, Fluorescence, Q-TOF)
  • Exclusion chromatography de exclusión (EC, GPC)
  • Solid phase extraction (SPE)
  • Solid phase microextraction (SPME)
  • Stir Bar Sorptive Extraction (SBSE)
  • accelerated solven extractor ASE
  • olive oil extractor (Abencor system)
  • electronic nose (HS-MS)
  • spectrophotometers (plates and trays)
  • colorimeters
  • fluorometers
  • electrophoresis (capillary, gel)
  • Optigraph
  • Rancimat
  • lipids (fatty acids, triglycerides, cholesterol, …)
  • proteins and aminoacids
  • carbohydrates
  • minerals
  • vitamins
  • additives
  • bioactive compounds (phytosterols, flavonoids, polyphenols, …)
  • components of aroma and flavour
  • waste and pollutants
Physical analysis

Chemicophysical analysis laboratory:

  • optic microscopis
  • inverse phase microscope
  • LEICA CTR 5000 microscope
  • Fluorescence microscope
  • LEICA MZ 16F stereoscopic lense
  • texture meters
  • pH meters
  • acoustic firmness sensor (Aweta type)
  • homogenizer
  • digital burettes
  • Kjeldahl
  • Soxlet
  • hygrometer
  • stoves / muffle
  • valuators for chlorides
  • water activity measurers
  • rheometers
  • penetrometers
  • refractometers
  • gelograph
  • mosalux
  • calorimetry (TGA, DSC)
  • calorimetry (TGA, DSC)
  • centrifuge
  • centrifuge
  • ultra-centrifugee
  • ultra.centrifuge
  • weighing scales
  • evaporators
  • texture and rheology
  • conductivity
  • pH
  • impedance
  • water activity
  • Water retention capacity
  • color
Microbiological analysis

Microbiological analysis laboratory:

  • biological safety cabinets (Class II)
  • laminar flow cabinets
  • incubators and climate chambers (phytotron, conviron)
  • automatic spiral seeding systems
  • microscopy and image analysis
  • autoclaves
  • liofilizadores
  • congeladores/neveras
  • bactometer
  • stomaker
  • spoilage microorganisms and pathogens
Sensory analysis

Sensory analysis laboratory:

  • tasting room for sensory analysis :
  • individual tasting booths
  • ISO installations
  • trained and qualified personnel for the execution of tests and analysis of results
  • smell
  • aroma
  • flavor
  • taste
  • texture
  • color
Molecular analysis ELISA:

  • in fresh or processed foods where proteins are not altered.


  • amplified DNA sequences. In processed or physicochemically treated foods in which the protein may have degraded


  • universal primers
  • low cost and easy to use

PCR multiplex

  • simultaneous amplification of several target sequences with several primers in the same probe

PCR in real time:

  • high accuracy in quantification
  • high sensitivity (detection of a very low number of copies of DNA); the most frequently in traceability

RT-PCR and NASBA in real time allows:

  • to distinguish and quantify viable cells from the amplification RNA sequences rather than from DNA sequences.

Molecular Biology Laboratory:

a) Methods of analysis based on the detection of proteins:

  • ELISA plate readers

b) Methods of analysis based on the detection of DNA:

  • conventional PCR
  • real time PCR
  • PRC multiplex,
  • plasmid profile
  • NASBA in real time
  • spoilage microorganisms and pathogens
  • genetically modified organisms (GMOs)