1998 Volume 41 Issue 4 Pages 895-907
A general mathematical model for forced air precooling of spherical food products in bulk is developed. The food products are arranged inline to form a rectangular parallelepiped. Chilled air is blown along the height of the package. The governing equations for the transient two-dimensional conduction with internal heat generation in the product, simultaneous heat and mass transfer at the product-air interface and one-dimensional transient energy and species conservation equations for the moist air are solved numerically using finite difference methods. Results are presented in the form of time-temperature histories. Experiments are conducted with model foods in a laboratory scale air precooling tunnel. The agreement between the theoretical and experimental results is found to be good. In general, a single product analysis fails to predict the precooling characteristics of bulk loads of food products. In the range of values investigated, the respiration heat is found to have a negligible effect.