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Source: Heat-Transfer Calculations

Chapter

36
Estimating Freezing Time of Foods
R. Paul Singh
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering University of California Davis, California

Freezing of foods is a common unit operation employed in the food industry. Many fruits and vegetables, such as peas, strawberries, diced carrots, and green beans, are frozen in uidized-bed freezers where the product comes into direct contact with air at subfreezing temperatures. As the food undergoes freezing, there is a change in phase of water into ice; this complicates the heat-transfer computations required to estimate freezing times. In this example, we will predict freezing time of strawberries being frozen in a uidized-bed freezer. The initial temperature of a strawberry is 15 C, and it has a moisture content of 75 percent (wet basis). The shape of the strawberry is assumed to be a sphere with a diameter of 2.5 cm. The nal desired center temperature of the strawberry is 18 C. The air temperature in the uidized-bed freezer is 40 C. The convective heat-transfer coefcient is measured to be 80 W/(m2 K). The properties of the strawberry are assumed as follows. The density of an unfrozen strawberry is 1130 kg/m3 , the density of a frozen strawberry is 950 kg/m3 , the specic heat of an unfrozen strawberry is 3.55 kJ/(kg C), and the specic heat of a frozen strawberry is 1.5 kJ/(kg C). The thermal conductivity of the frozen

36.1

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Estimating Freezing Time of Foods


36.2 Parameter and Boundary Estimation

strawberry is 1.5 W/(m K). Calculate how long it will take to reduce the center temperature of the strawberry from 15 to 18 C.

Approach To solve this problem, we will use a method proposed by Pham (1986). Phams method is useful in calculating freezing time of foods with high moisture content (>55 percent). The following assumptions were made by Pham: (1) the temperature of the air used in the freezer is constant, (2) the initial temperature of the product is constant, (3) the value of the nal temperature is xed, and (4) the convective heat transfer on the surface of the food is described by Newtons law of cooling. Pham divides the total heat removed during freezing from some initial temperature to a desired nal temperature into two components. As seen in Fig. 36.1, a plot of center temperature versus heat removal is divided into two parts using a mean freezing temperature Tm. The rst part of this curve represents heat removal in precooling and some initial change of phase as the product begins to freeze; the second part represents the remaining heat removal during phase change and additional cooling to reach the nal desired temperature. The mean freezing temperature Tm is obtained using the following equation, which has been empirically obtained for foods with moisture content exceeding 55 percent Tm = 1.8 + 0.263Tc + 0.105Ta (36.1)

where Tc is the nal center temperature of the product ( C) and Ta is the air temperature used in freezing ( C).

Ti Temperature (C)

Tm

Tc

H1

H2

Heat Removal (kJ/kg)


Figure 36.1 A plot of temperature at the product center versus heat removal during freezing of foods.

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Estimating Freezing Time of Foods


Estimating Freezing Time of Foods 36.3

The time to freeze the product from an initial temperature Ti ( C) to a nal temperature of Tc is obtained using the following equation: t= d NBi 1+ Eh 2 H1 + T1 H2 T2 (36.2)

where d is the characteristic dimension, which is the shortest dimension from the surface to the center [for a sphere it is the radius (m)]; h is the convective heat transfer [W/(m2 K)]; and E is the dimensional shape factor (it is 1 for an innite slab, 2 for an innite cylinder, and 3 for a sphere). The term H1 represents the change in the volumetric enthalpy (J/m3 ) for the precooling and initial periods of phase change: H1 =
ucu(T i

Tm)

(36.3)

where u is the density of unfrozen material, cu is the specic heat of the unfrozen material [J/(kg K)], and Ti is the initial temperature of the product ( C). The term H2 is the change in the volumetric enthalpy (J/m3 ) for the period involving the remaining phase change and postcooling of the product to the nal center temperature: H2 =
f [L f

+ c f (Tm Tc )]

(36.4)

where f is the density of the frozen product, c f is the specic heat of the frozen product [kJ/(kg K)], and L f is the latent heat of fusion of the food undergoing freezing [J/(kg K)]. The Biot number NBi is dened as NBi = hd kf (36.5)

where h is the convective heat-transfer coefcient [W/(m2 K)], d is the characteristic dimension (m), and k f is the thermal conductivity of the frozen material [W/(m K)]. The temperature gradient T1 is obtained from T1 = Ti + Tm Ta 2 (36.6)

where Ti is the initial temperature ( C), Ta is the temperature of the air ( C), and Tm is the mean temperature as dened in Eq. (36.1).

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Estimating Freezing Time of Foods


36.4 Parameter and Boundary Estimation

The temperature gradient

T2 is obtained from T2 = Tm Ta (36.7)

For more information on estimating thermal properties of foods required in Eqs. (36.3) to (36.5), refer to Singh and Heldman (2001) and Singh (2004). Next, we will use the preceding equations to calculate freezing time for the given problem. Solution
Given

Initial temperature of strawberry = 15 C Moisture content of strawberry = 75 percent (wet basis) Diameter of strawberry = 2.5 cm Final desired center temperature of strawberry = 18 C Air temperature in uidized-bed freezer = 40 C Convective heat-transfer coefcient = 80 W/(m2 K) Density of unfrozen strawberry = 1130 kg/m3 Density of frozen strawberry = 950 kg/m3 Specic heat of unfrozen strawberry = 3.55 kJ/(kg C) Specic heat of frozen strawberry = 1.5 kJ/(kg C) Thermal conductivity of frozen strawberry = 1.5 W/(m K)
Procedure

1. Using Eq. (36.1), calculate Tm: Tm = 1.8 + 0.263 (18) + 0.105 (40) = 7.134 C 2. Using Eq. (36.3), calculate H1 :

H1 = 1130 kg/m3 3.55 kJ/kg K 1000 J/kJ (15 (7.134)) C = 88,790,541 J/m3 3. The latent heat of fusion of strawberries is obtained as a product of moisture content and latent heat of fusion of water (333.2 kJ/kg): Lf = 0.75 333.2 kJ/kg 1000 J/kJ = 249,900 J/kg

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Estimating Freezing Time of Foods


Estimating Freezing Time of Foods 36.5

4. Using Eq. (36.4), calculate H2 = 950 kg/m3

H2 :

249,900 J/kg + 1.5 kJ/kg K 1000 J/kJ (7.134 (18)) C

= 252,889,050 J/m3 5. Using Eq. (36.6), calculate T1 = T1 : (40)

15 + (7.134) 2 = 43.93 C T2 :

6. Using Eq. (36.7), calculate

T2 = [7.134 (40)] = 32.87 C 7. The Biot number is calculated using Eq. (36.5) as follows: NBi = 80 W/m2 K 0.0125 m 1.5 W/m2 K

= 0.667 8. Substituting results of steps 1 through 7 in Eq. (36.2), noting that for a sphere E f = 3, we have t= 0.0125 m 3 80 W/m2 K 1+ 0.667 2 88790541 J/m3 252889050 J/m3 + 43.93 C 32.87 C

Time = 674.7 s = 11.2 min


Result

The estimated time to freeze strawberries in a uidized-bed freezer is 11.2 min. References
Pham, Q. T., 1986. Simplied Equation for Predicting the Freezing Time of Foodstuffs, J. Food Technol. 21:209219. Singh, R. P., and Heldman, D. R., 2001. Introduction to Food Engineering, Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Singh R. P., 2004. Food Properties Database, RAR Press, Davis, Calif.

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Estimating Freezing Time of Foods

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