Quality and Shelf-Life Modeling of Chilled and Frozen Food

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Quality and Safety".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (2 December 2022) | Viewed by 12081

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Technology, School of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Interests: food engineering; non thermal processing; quality and shelf life modelling; food product development; fruit and vegetable technology
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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Food Process Engineering, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, 11855 Athens, Greece
Interests: food engineering; food packaging; active and intelligent packaging; nonthermal processing; shelf life modeling; seafood technology; predictive models
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Chilling and freezing preserves the quality and storage life of foods by making them more inert and slowing down the detrimental reactions that promote food spoilage and limit shelf life. However, it should be recognized that a number of reactions can still occur, and many of these will be accentuated when recommended conditions of handling, production, and storage are not maintained. The development of new food preservation methods or novel combinations of existing chilling and freezing techniques is sought by the industry in the pursuit of quality improvement, and shelf life extension and management. Effective application requires systematic study and modeling of the temperature dependence of quality and shelf life. This would mean establishing a time correlation between measured chemical changes, microbiological activity, and sensory value for the conditions of interest.

The study of the chemical and biological reactions and physical changes that occur in the food during and after processing allow recognition of the ones that are most important to its safety, integrity, and overall quality. Physicochemical or microbiological parameters can be used to quantitatively assess quality and shelf life. The values of these parameters can be correlated to sensory results for the same food and a limit that corresponds to the lowest acceptable sensory quality can be set. The relative contribution of each factor to the overall quality may vary at different levels of quality or at different storage conditions. Food kinetics is based on the thorough study of the rates at which physicochemical reactions proceed. The area of food kinetics in food systems has received a great deal of attention in past years, primarily due to efforts to optimize or at least maximize the quality of food products during processing and storage.

Kind regards,

Dr. Efimia Dermesonlouoglou
Dr. Theofania Tsironi
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • chilled food
  • frozen food
  • quality deterioration
  • shelf-life determination
  • food kinetics
  • mathematical modeling

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 3104 KiB  
Article
Toxigenic Potential of Mesophilic and Psychrotolerant Bacillus cereus Isolates from Chilled Tofu
by Kyung-Min Park, Hyun-Jung Kim, Kee-Jai Park and Minseon Koo
Foods 2022, 11(12), 1674; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11121674 - 7 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1920
Abstract
The prevalence, toxin gene profile, antibiogram, and biofilm formation to determine the virulence potential of mesophilic and psychrotolerant Bacillus cereus (B. cereus) isolated from chilled tofu were investigated. Among 58 isolates, 21 isolates were capable of growth at 7 °C, and [...] Read more.
The prevalence, toxin gene profile, antibiogram, and biofilm formation to determine the virulence potential of mesophilic and psychrotolerant Bacillus cereus (B. cereus) isolated from chilled tofu were investigated. Among 58 isolates, 21 isolates were capable of growth at 7 °C, and these isolates shared a potential hazard for food poisoning with mesophilic isolates. B. cereus harboring enterotoxin genes was more frequently found in psychrotolerant isolates than in mesophilic isolates. Thirty-seven (62.2%) mesophilic isolates and all psychrotolerant isolates carried four or more enterotoxin genes. The hemolysin BL (42.9%) and nonhemolytic enterotoxin complexes (90.5%) were found at a higher frequency in psychrotolerant isolates than in mesophilic isolates. Some B. cereus isolates showed resistance to rifampicin or clindamycin, regardless of mesophilic and psychrotolerant isolates. A total of 56% and 40% mesophilic isolates displayed the strongest biofilm formation at 40 and 42 °C, respectively. However, the biofilm formation of psychrotolerant isolates was not significantly affected by temperature. The results of this study provide new strategies for the development of bacterial control, which allows us to optimize technologies to inhibit B. cereus, including psychrotolerant isolates, in the food industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Shelf-Life Modeling of Chilled and Frozen Food)
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19 pages, 32881 KiB  
Article
Intelligent Dynamic Quality Prediction of Chilled Chicken with Integrated IoT Flexible Sensing and Knowledge Rules Extraction
by Jinchao Xu, Ruiqin Ma, Stevan Stankovski, Xue Liu and Xiaoshuan Zhang
Foods 2022, 11(6), 836; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11060836 - 15 Mar 2022
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 2231
Abstract
With the enhancement of consumers’ food safety awareness, consumers have become more stringent on meat quality. This study constructs an intelligent dynamic prediction model based on knowledge rules and integrates flexible humidity sensors into the non-destructive monitoring of the Internet of Things to [...] Read more.
With the enhancement of consumers’ food safety awareness, consumers have become more stringent on meat quality. This study constructs an intelligent dynamic prediction model based on knowledge rules and integrates flexible humidity sensors into the non-destructive monitoring of the Internet of Things to provide real-time feedback and dynamic adjustments for the chilled chicken cold chain. The optimized sensing equipment can be attached to the inside of the packaging to deal with various abnormal situations during the cold chain, effectively improving the packaging effect. Through correlation analysis of collected data and knowledge rule extraction of critical factors in the cold chain, the established quality evaluation and prediction model achieved detailed chilled chicken quality level classification and intelligent quality prediction. The obtained results show that the accuracy of the prediction model is higher than 90.5%, and all the regression coefficients are close to 1.00. The relevant personnel (workers and cold chain managers) were invited to participate in the performance analysis and optimization suggestion to improve the applicability of the established prediction model. The optimized model can provide a more efficient theoretical reference for timely decision-making and further e-commerce management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Shelf-Life Modeling of Chilled and Frozen Food)
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17 pages, 22680 KiB  
Article
A Multi-Model Approach to Implement a Dynamic Shelf Life Criterion in Meat Supply Chains
by Antonia Albrecht, Maureen Mittler, Martin Hebel, Claudia Waldhans, Ulrike Herbert and Judith Kreyenschmidt
Foods 2021, 10(11), 2740; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10112740 - 9 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2035
Abstract
The high perishability of fresh meat results in short sales and consumption periods, which can lead to high amounts of food waste, especially when a fixed best-before date is stated. Thus, the aim of this study was the development of a real-time dynamic [...] Read more.
The high perishability of fresh meat results in short sales and consumption periods, which can lead to high amounts of food waste, especially when a fixed best-before date is stated. Thus, the aim of this study was the development of a real-time dynamic shelf-life criterion (DSLC) for fresh pork filets based on a multi-model approach combining predictive microbiology and sensory modeling. Therefore, 647 samples of ma-packed pork loin were investigated in isothermal and non-isothermal storage trials. For the identification of the most suitable spoilage predictors, typical meat quality parameters (pH-value, color, texture, and sensory characteristics) as well as microbial contamination (total viable count, Pseudomonas spp., lactic acid bacteria, Brochothrix thermosphacta, Enterobacteriaceae) were analyzed at specific investigation points. Dynamic modeling was conducted using a combination of the modified Gompertz model (microbial data) or a linear approach (sensory data) and the Arrhenius model. Based on these models, a four-point scale grading system for the DSLC was developed to predict the product status and shelf-life as a function of temperature data in the supply chain. The applicability of the DSLC was validated in a pilot study under real chain conditions and showed an accurate real-time prediction of the product status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Shelf-Life Modeling of Chilled and Frozen Food)
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13 pages, 3055 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Multiple Freeze–Thaw Cycles on the Microstructure and Quality of Trachurus murphyi
by Chunlin Hu and Jing Xie
Foods 2021, 10(6), 1350; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10061350 - 11 Jun 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3975
Abstract
Temperature fluctuation in frozen food storage and distribution is the perpetual and core issue faced by the frozen food industry. Ice recrystallisation induced by temperature fluctuations under cold storage causes microstructural changes in fish products and irreversible damages to cells and tissues, which [...] Read more.
Temperature fluctuation in frozen food storage and distribution is the perpetual and core issue faced by the frozen food industry. Ice recrystallisation induced by temperature fluctuations under cold storage causes microstructural changes in fish products and irreversible damages to cells and tissues, which lower the frozen fish quality in the food chain. This study is intended to explore how repeated freezing–thawing affected the microstructure and quality of Trachurus murphyi during its frozen storage. The results showed the consistency between the increase in ice crystal diameter, volume, and porosity in frozen fish and the increase in centrifugal loss (from 22.4% to 25.69%), cooking loss (from 22.32% to 25.19%), conductivity (from 15.28 Ms/cm to 15.70 Ms/cm), TVB-N (from 16.32 mg N/100 g to 19.94 mg N/100 g), K-value (from 3.73% to 7.07%), and amino acid composition. The muscle structure change observed by Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) showed that the content of α-helix reduced from 59.05% to 51.83%, while the β-sheet fraction grew from 15.44% to 17.11%, β-turns increased from 5.45% to 7.58%, and random coil from 20.06% to 23.49%. Moreover, muscular structure exhibited varying degrees of deterioration with increasing cycles of freezing and thawing as shown by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). We studied the muscular morphology, which included the measurement of porosities (%) of pore that increased (from 1.4% to 4.3%) and pore distribution, by X-ray computed tomography (uCT). The cycles of the freeze–thaw resulted in structural changes, which seemed to be closely associated with ultimate quality of frozen fish products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Shelf-Life Modeling of Chilled and Frozen Food)
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