PREDICTION OF CHICORY QUALITY DURING THE DISTRIBUTION CHAIN BY MEANS OF A SIMULATION SOFTWARE
A simulation software was developed to predict the quality changes of chicory heads (chicons) during their distribution, starting from the production site through wholesalers and grocery shops to storage in the fridge of the consumer. Mathematical models were developed for all the relevant unit processes that chicons exposed to during the distribution chain. Each submodel can simulate the temperature and possible modified atmosphere conditions of the chicons due to the specific handling and environmental conditions of the corresponding unit operation. The temperature and modified atmosphere conditions are used as an input for the product (chicory chicons) model to simulate changes in quality. The quality parameters which can be predicted are red discoloration and overall consumer acceptance. The simulation software has a user friendly graphical interface. The available unit processes can be selected from a hierarchically structured set of icons. Any specific distribution chain can be assembled by dragging and dropping unit processes in a chain row. By opening a unit process, its properties can be viewed and edited. Once the whole chain is defined in this way, it can be executed. One by one, temperature, gas conditions and quality changes in the different unit processes are calculated. The results are shown graphically in such a way that the operator can asses the problems in an existing chain or evaluate his new design easily. In an iterative process, properties can be changed, unit processes added or deleted to improve a certain design or to simulate possible solutions for existing problems.
Verlinden, B.E., Scheerlinck, N., Vanstreels, E. and Nicolaï, B.M. (2001). PREDICTION OF CHICORY QUALITY DURING THE DISTRIBUTION CHAIN BY MEANS OF A SIMULATION SOFTWARE. Acta Hortic. 566, 543-548
cool chain, model, Belgian endive, Cichorium intybus