Quality validation for heat processed foods: improving product quality, reducing process energy and cost
Better preservation of the nutritional and sensory properties of foods during heat processing are very important for quality and consumer acceptance of the products. It can also have beneficial effects for food product development. For example, antioxidants are often added to fat-containing foods to delay or slow down the development of rancidity. Greater retention of naturally present or added antioxidants through optimal thermal processing can improve product shelf life. Optimised thermal process could also reduce cost and energy consumption.
CTemp modelling has been proven to be an effective means of thermal safety validation. TTIs are also very successful in validation of thermal process safety and are now widely used in thermal process validation where conventional temperature probes cannot be used. A micro-litre quantity of food grade enzyme encapsulated in a TTI and having similar thermal kinetics as target microorganisms can be used to safely measure the degree of heat treatment given to the food product. Both CTemp and TTI techniques can be developed as quality sensors that can be used to optimise the thermal processes.
This project will provide a systematic study of process validation and optimisation to reduce cost and energy consumption, improve product quality and ensure safety.