After the summer harvest, fruits are sold as dried products suitable for the current season. However, if fruit or vegetables are dried with heat, nutrients can be destroyed and flavors can be reduced. This is why non-thermal drying of food – i.e. without heating – is preferred by the industry. Among other things, fans are used for this purpose. A new drying process developed at Empa using ionic wind promises to make the non-thermal drying of food much more energy-efficient, faster and even gentler.
The science behind sticky gecko’s feet lets gecko adhesion materials pick up about anything. But cost-effective mass production of the materials was out of reach until now. A new method of making them could usher the spread of gecko-inspired grabbers to assembly lines and homes.