Ice fraction assessment by near-infrared spectroscopy enhancing automated superchilling process lines
Journal : Journal of Food Engineering , vol. 100 , p. 169–177 , 2010
International Standard Numbers
Printed : 0260-8774
Electronic : 1873-5770
Publication type : Academic article
Issue : 1
DOI : doi.org/10.1016/j.jfoodeng.201...
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The objective of the current study was to analyze and develop some important automation steps in a superchilling process line. In order to control the product quality there is a need for online measurements of ice fraction and distribution in inhomogeneous products. Moreover, automatic handling of such superchilled products is currently commercially unavailable. The current study presents a new method for monitoring and handling superchilled product of varying form and consistency. Observation of the shift in the water absorption peak, measured by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) transflection mode, was used to determine the ice level in superchilled salmon, scanning approximately 1.5 cm into the fillets. The salmon fillets were stored on ice at 0 degrees C for 5-7 days before superchilling at -24 degrees C to target ice contents of 10%, 15% and 30%. Online NIR measurements of ice fraction showed promising results, with a low prediction error of 2.5%. The storage study confirmed former quality results with a microbiological shelf life of 15-17 days with only minor differences in values for drip loss and water-holding capacity between superchilled and chilled samples. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.