Heating foods: integrating quality and safety in thermal processes

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review



The main objective of the food industry is to produce safe products, a criteria requested by consumers as well as governmental entities. However, product’s quality is also another import aspect that can never be questioned. It is well known that thermal processes are the most efficient in terms of inactivating non desirable microorganisms and enzymes, and therefore continue to be used intensely to prolong products shelf life. Although initially processes where mainly designed to ensure the required safety level, along the last few decades a lot of research investment has been made to search for conditions minimizing the negative effect of thermal treatments on quality (e.g. sensory and nutritional). Tools such as mathematical modelling of transport phenomena (heat, mass and momentum) and kinetics of inactivation and degradation of microorganisms/ enzymes and quality factors, respectively, can and should be more and more used to optimize food processing conditions. Quality and safety studies have to be well integrated in order to develop products most suited for the consumer and the global market. Recently, thermal processes have been also combined with other non-thermal technologies (e.g. ultrasound, high pressure, ozone or ultraviolet radiation). The goal is to extend shelf life with minimum impact on food quality.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009
EventSecond European Conference – Harmonization of standards in thermal processing: Institute for Thermal Processing Specialists - Porto, Portugal
Duration: 27 Oct 200929 Oct 2009


ConferenceSecond European Conference – Harmonization of standards in thermal processing


  • Modelling
  • Kinetics
  • Safety
  • Quality factors


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