A model-based approach to develop periodic thermal treatments for surface decontamination of strawberries


14 páginas, 5 figuras, 5 tablasA model-based approach to design periodic thermal treatments for surface decontamination of strawberries, and fruit in general, was developed. The model accounts for the actual shape of the strawberry, surface decontamination kinetics and temperature-related product quality objectives. Conduction heat transferwas coupled with a first-order kinetic model for microbial inactivation at the surface of strawberries. The thermophysical properties were estimated based on the chemical composition of strawberries, and the inactivation properties of Botrytis cinerea were used. The heat transfer model was validated based on immersion experiments of strawberries in pure water at different temperatures. The effect of different periodic heating cycles on the internal temperature distribution was expressed by means of a thermal product state functional, in which temperature increases were exponentially penalised. Computer simulations revealed that heating cycles with a small period length minimise the overall product temperature increase and, hence, reduce the level of quality losses. In this way large temperature variations are limited to the product boundary. This model-based approach provides a postharvest engineering tool for design and fine tuning of surface decontamination processes and equipment.Peer reviewe

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oai:digital.csic.es:10261/56119Last time updated on 5/25/2016

This paper was published in Digital.CSIC.

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