CFD modeling of infrared thermal treatment of figs (Ficus Carica L.)

Fumihiko Tanaka, Motoyuki Chatani, Hironori Kawashima, Daisuke Hamanaka, Toshitaka Uchino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Heat treatment plays an important role in the reduction of postharvest decay of some species of fresh fruit. In this study, we focused on the modeling of infrared (IR) heating of fresh figs (Ficus carica L.) by the computational fluid dynamics approach. Three configuration models were proposed to investigate the progress of surface temperature distribution during IR heating. According to our results, a single fig array model with one IR heater well predicted the actual temperature profile at the ostiole point with a mean error of 1.9C. As a result of the six fig array model simulation, uniform heating could be achieved as for the single fig array model. Simultaneous heating contributes to improved heat treatment performance in a fruit packing house. Uneven heating affecting fig shape was also identified clearly using the developed model. The thermal deactivation of microorganisms was also investigated during the IR heating process. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS Postharvest heat treatment is a very important to extend shelf life of some species of fresh fruit. In particular, infrared (IR) heating method is useful for surface decontamination of products because it is regarded as a highly efficient method for surface heating. In this study, a transient three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics model was developed to investigate the heat treatment performance of IR heating. The proposed model is very useful for design and fine adjusting of surface decontamination process in a fruit packing house.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-828
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Food Process Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • General Chemical Engineering


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