Thermal processing and quality: Principles and overview

G.B. Awuah, H.S. Ramaswamy, A. Economides
Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification Volume 46, Issue 6, June 2007, Pages 584-602

Abstract

The food processing industry has matured over the years with an impressive record on safety and a vibrant marketplace for new product development. Consumer demands for high-quality products has inspired researchers and the food industry to explore alternative methods as replacement for traditional processing methods. The food industry is poised to adopt cost effective technologies that offer better quality and safe products. Given the impressive safety record associated with traditional systems, one may be tempted to conclude that there is little room for advancement and innovation to meet current consumer demands. Process optimization will continue to evolve to enhance quality and overall energy utilization either in traditional or novel systems. The need for efficient operations will certainly drive system automation, control and monitoring systems that can handle complex mathematical routines in real-time. Such systems would certainly require vigorous validation and verification for industry to embrace them. It truly sounds illogical for industry to re-evaluate existing process schedules based on studies that demonstrate non-linearity of survival curves. However, the need to optimize quality and operating costs could potentially prompt re-evaluating existing systems to capture additional benefits. New processing concepts such as the application of variable retort temperature have received attention from processing experts and promises to improve both the economy and quality of thermally processed foods.

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