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Numerical Investigation of the Chilling of Food Products by Air-Mist Spray

Authors: Roy J. Issa

Abstract:

Spray chilling using air-mist nozzles has received much attention in the food processing industry because of the benefits it has shown over forced air convection. These benefits include an increase in the heat transfer coefficient and a reduction in the water loss by the product during cooling. However, few studies have simulated the heat transfer and aerodynamics phenomena of the air-mist chilling process for optimal operating conditions. The study provides insight into the optimal conditions for spray impaction, heat transfer efficiency and control of surface flooding. A computational fluid dynamics model using a two-phase flow composed of water droplets injected with air is developed to simulate the air-mist chilling of food products. The model takes into consideration droplet-to-surface interaction, water-film accumulation and surface runoff. The results of this study lead to a better understanding of the heat transfer enhancement, water conservation, and to a clear direction for the optimal design of air-mist chilling systems that can be used in commercial applications in the food and meat processing industries.

Keywords: Droplets impaction efficiency, Droplet size, Heat transfer enhancement factor, Water runoff.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1078352

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