Title: Application of mathematical modelling in bioengineering: case study of the design of modified atmosphere packaging for transporting fresh broccoli to consumers

Authors: Michael O. Daramola; Kazeem Oare Okosun

Addresses: School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of the Witwatersrand, Wits 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa ' Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences, Vaal University of Technology, Private Bag X021, 1900, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa

Abstract: In the present study, application of mathematical method to the design of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) for the transportation of fresh farm produce from a supplier to a retail shop in a distribution chain is presented through a case study involving transportation of fresh broccoli from a supplier to final consumers. The study examined the suitable distribution chain that would ensure the remaining shelf-life of the broccoli meets the consumers' requirement at the time of delivery. The developed model was based on macro-balance of mass and heat transfer. Results from the numerical simulation of the developed model suggest that transportation of the broccoli by air is better than the transportation by water. In addition, a packaging material with oxygen permeability of kO2 = 0.7 kO2max is specified to ensure that the shelf-life of 5 days for the brocolli is met after the delivery.

Keywords: shelf-life; fresh broccoli; mathematical modelling; food distribution chain; atmospheric packaging; optimisation; bioengineering; case study; packaging design; farm produce; fresh produce; mass transfer; heat transfer; numerical simulation; fresh food transport.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMMNO.2015.071873

International Journal of Mathematical Modelling and Numerical Optimisation, 2015 Vol.6 No.3, pp.250 - 264

Received: 22 Nov 2014
Accepted: 07 Jun 2015

Published online: 21 Sep 2015 *

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