Testing and design of a passive container for the optimisation of highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) cold chain
AbstractThe aim of this work is to test a passive cooling system (PCS) on highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) to verify cooling performances soon after harvest. Based on experimental results the cooling trend was modelled and a dedicated system was designed for the optimisation of blueberries cold chain. The evolution of qualitative characteristics of stored fruits was evaluated analysing the percentage of damaged berries, the weight loss, the texture, the titratable acidity and the total soluble solids content. The analysis of temperature profiles during transport using PCS shows how this device is not fast enough in tearing down the blueberries field heat. A computer simulation, using finite elements method modelling, considering the thermo-physical properties of materials used and the boundary conditions arising from experimental data collected was carried out. Computer modelling has provided the characteristics of geometry, thickness, type and density of the material to obtain the desired cooling performance.
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