Paper presented at the 9th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, Malta, 16-18 July, 2012.
The quality and storage life of fruits and vegetables are extremely challenging to predict. Immediately after harvest, the field heat from fruits and vegetables must be removed in order to retard the degenerative biochemical activities within the produce. Moreover they need to be stored under refrigerated conditions until they are consumed. There has been an interest in the use of mathematical models for optimizing the operation, design and control of postharvest storage systems. These mathematical models are applied to predict the physical and chemical phenomena that take place during postharvest handling of horticultural products. Nowadays, with the availability of more powerful computers at a reasonable price, it is feasible to investigate the details of the flow behavior in large-scale postharvest storage systems involving refrigerated storage and modified atmospheric storage systems. In this paper an overview of advances in the application of mathematical models for predicting and optimizing fluid flow, heat and mass transfer and associated phenomena during postharvest storage of horticultural products is presented.