Important efforts have been performed recently to develop mathematical models to predict quality attributes of refrigerated foods. Microbial quality, and physicochemical quality attributes  are the most important studied. Temperature is one of the most important controlling factors within this context. Quality degradation kinetics has been performed  most of the time under stationary temperature conditions to obtain model parameters.  The main hypothesis is that microbial growth can be accurately predicted under slowly changing conditions for some particular foods, for example, Listeria monocytogenes in chilled and in frozen foods.

For frozen foods important modification in ice crystal size are responsible of quality degradation during  storage.

For many others food products, and fruit and vegetables in particular, quality models are not available, not validated for dynamic refrigeration conditions or not implemented in a user-friendly software environment. Figure 1 shows an example of experimental data in literature for apples.

In addition, the dependency of quality and microbial kinetics on temperature implies that for certain foods the temperature distribution inside the food (rather than just on the surface) must be known.


Fig. 1 Change of the measured hardness of apples  during storage. Error bars denote 95% confidence intervals of the mean of 20 measurements. (De Smedt et al., 2002). Souce Literature review and experimental data of chilled apple quality models

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