Title: Novel computational fluid dynamics simulation software for thermal design and evaluation of horticultural packaging

Authors: Linus U. Opara, Qian Zou

Addresses: Postharvest Technology Research Programme and Agricultural Experiment Station, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Al-Khod, Sultanate of Oman. ' Food Systems and Technology, AgResearch Limited, Ruakura MIRINZ Centre, Hamilton, New Zealand

Abstract: Good airflow patterns and appropriate temperature and relative humidity levels are essential for storage stability, good shelf life and quality of fresh produce inside ventilated packages. Although several types of commercial packaging are available for a wide range of commodities, the majority of these packages have evolved through industry practice and experience. With increasing volume, value and variety of food commodities available in the market, there is a need for a systematic and speedy approach to the design of packaging systems that is applicable to a wide range of commodities and handling systems. In this paper, we present an innovative modelling system based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for the thermal design and visualisation of airflow patterns inside ventilated packages for fruits and vegetables. Test results from the application of prototype software under pre-cooling conditions for fresh fruits will be presented and discussed.

Keywords: computational fluid dynamics; CFD; horticultural produce; innovation; thermal design; simulation software; horticultural packaging; temperature; relative humidity levels; storage stability; shelf life; food quality; fresh produce; visualisation; airflow patterns; ventilated packages; fruits; vegetables; pre-cooling; modelling; postharvest innovation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPTI.2006.011658

International Journal of Postharvest Technology and Innovation, 2006 Vol.1 No.2, pp.155 - 169

Published online: 11 Dec 2006 *

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