Modelling optimum processing conditions for the sterilization of prepackaged foods

C. L. M. Silva*, F. A. R. Oliveira, M. Hendrickx

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Mathematical methods available to optimize heat sterilization of prepackaged foods are critically reviewed. Heat transfer models, with special relevance to those considering external resistance to heat transfer, are discussed. Different optimization methods and constraints are analysed and their applicability is evaluated. Several objective functions suggested in the literature to minimize quality degradation, energy consumption or economic costs are presented along with their impact on optimum conditions. The use of variable heating medium time temperature profile in order to improve sterilization conditions, both interms of mass average and surface quality retention, is also extensively reviewed. The review suggests that sufficient experimental evidence is lacking. Most models do not provide experimental validation and it is thought that this impairs the potential applications that would arise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-78
Number of pages12
JournalFood Control
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Optimization
  • Quality
  • Sterilization
  • Numerical modelling

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