CFD in the Food Industry

Applications of ICON World-Leading Products and Expert Services

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Trusted partner in the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics in the Food Industry

There is a natural fit – indeed a necessity – for the application of CFD in the food industry. Engineers and scientists in food science, food engineering and food processing need accurate data, fast for both evaluation and prediction. Often, multi-physics and complex solutions are required.

Compared to the time and cost of physical testing, iconCFD® applications can deliver better data, faster, cheaper and easier. This means greater capability and capacity for experimentation without extra cost.

What applications are served?

  • Baking – analysis of flow and temperature distribution
  • Clean-room design
  • Crystallization – design of crystallizer and modelling of crystallization
  • Drying – air flow, air velocity and humidity prediction, chamber design
  • Food design/development – simulations to reduce time, waste and cost and improve quality and taste
  • Heat Exchangers – re-design and optimisation
  • HVAC – optimising factory environments
  • Hygiene – cleaning processes and equipment
  • Mixing – gas, liquids and solids, modelling of mixing processes, energy input, processing time, impeller configurations
  • Pasteurisation and Sterilisation – thermal processing, flow patterns
  • Pipe flow optimisation
  • Refrigeration and refrigerated transport – modelling of heat/mass transfer in foods during refrigeration to slow down bacterial growth and preserve food
  • Storage – temperature, airflow, size, shape, etc

ICON offers many advantages:

  • The use of ICON’s CFD in the food industry involves proven, reliable and cost-efficient process optimization tools. These will help you to decrease commodity cost, enhance product consistency, improve manufacturing productivity and increase sustainability
  • Able to handle multi-scale multi-physics complex geometries
  • Automated design optimization processes to improve product/process efficiency, safety and durability – using Adjoint and integrated Design of Experiment (DoE) methods
  • User friendly interface with capability of being modified to match user expertise
  • No requirement to be locked in to an expensive, long term contract

In addition to software, we also provide CFD consulting, CFD training and CFD support services to help you resolve problems and increase independent capability.

As the originator of CFD use in industry, ICON can help you deliver measurable improvements to your food processing modelling. Our mission is also to make CFD less complex and less expensive for you to use. With over 30 years’ experience and expertise, you can trust ICON to deliver.

Why not find out more?
In summary, ICON is the global expert and proven best choice for food processing modelling applications. We offer a viable alternative to the big software conglomerates that gives you more accuracy, more speed, more flexibility, greater capacity and lower costs. Get in touch and find out more.

Values such as velocity, pressure, temperature and turbulence are obtained from the multiple simulations. In fluid applications, these values are then used to visualise the fluid flow fields at different locations inside apparatus like heat exchangers, pipes and mixing tanks.

Myriad of applications of CFD for food processing purposes, including, but not limited to, the following: mass transfer and fluid flow in food processing, heating and cooling processes, frying processes, food texture, product shelf-life, and so on.

CFD applications in food industry may assist in a better understanding of the complex physical mechanisms. Schott [4,5], Quarini [6] have reviewed the general application of CFD to the food processing industry. Moreover, other literatures are also available on specific CFD application areas such as: Clean-room design, Refrigerated transport [7], Static mixers [4], and Pipe flow [8]. Since CFD technique can be of great benefit to the food processing industry, fast development has taken place in the past few years. CFD, as a tool of research for enhancing the design process and understanding of the basic physical nature of fluid dynamics [9] can provide benefits to the food processing industry in many areas, such as drying, sterilization, mixing, refrigeration and other application areas. Improving the Cleaning of Food Processing Tanks Tanks are used in food production plants for many purposes: storage of raw materials and end products, buffer for intermediate products, fermentation, mixing, heating and cooling. In severe cases, poor cleaning can cause biofilm formation on equipment surfaces, which can cause corrosion and health problems, therefore tanks must be clean at the starting point. The challenge is to optimize the design of cleaning systems with respect to their efficiency and economy and to optimize parameters in CIP – cleaning procedures, improve hygienic design by simulating flows in tanks, spray balls and pipes with CFD.

Our on-premise and cloud-based CFD products and expert services deliver significant operational, commercial and competitive benefits for clients:


  • Data sovereignty - your data under your control.
  • Frictionless exchange; one integrated process for all users.
  • Robust operational quality as standard: ISO certified.


  • Unlimited parallel simulations.
  • Faster convergence to solution.
  • Reduced product development cycles.


  • Substantially less cost than big software conglomerates.
  • Unlimited HPC-cores, parallel runs and CFD users.
  • Huge cost savings in design, development, modification.


  • Simulations capability within just a few hours of training.
  • Fully automated workflows and templated applications.
  • Subscription model with pricing known up-front.

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Trust ICON

On-premise and cloud-based CFD products and expert services deliver significant operational, commercial and competitive advantages – fast, accurate, flexible, scalable and at substantially lower cost than the big software vendors and conglomerates.

  • Global presence; offices in the UK/Europe, Americas and Asia
  • 200+ people in broader group; 100+ of whom are CFD/CAE specialists
  • The pioneers of unlimited, open source CFD technology for industry
  • ICON engineers fully integrated into customers’ working environments
  • A globally trusted, expert engineering partner to industry for over 30 years

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