MODELLING OF STERILISATION PROCESS LEADS TO PROCESS AND PRODUCT IMPROVEMENT
TNO developed a PC-programme for modelling heating, cooling or freezing of products and moisture transport. This programme has several uses: it can be used for modelling thermal processes that occur while freezing of meat products (Bertix) and bakery products (Baktix) as well as for those associated with geothermal heat exchangers (Bodemtix).
The user-friendly PC-programmes are currently used by 8 industrial food plants and have previously been used to advise 15 Dutch slaughterhouses on their refrigeration processes. The most recent development has been to adapt the programme so that it can be used for modelling sterilisation processes in the preserving industry (vegetables). In this industry products in glass jars are subjected to a continuous sterilisation process which takes place in sterilisation towers. The programme (Haktix) has been developed in co-operation with the Dutch company Hak.
In this paper we will discuss the use of the programme Haktix for sterilisation processes. First of all, we will explain what Haktix is based on and we will describe the key process of sterilisation. Secondly, the validity of the programme will be illustrated by comparing the output with relevant measurements. Finally, optimisation of the sterilisation processes will be discussed. Our main objective is to speed up the process without reducing the quality of the product. Therefore quality parameters (related to microbial kill, risks of overcooking and overheating) play a key role in optimising the sterilisation processes.