Prediction of moisture gain and loss for packaged pasta subjected to a sine wave temperature/humidity environment


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The loss or gain of moisture through a package depends on the sorption isotherm of the food material, the conditions of temperature and relative humidity at which it is stored, and the water vapour permeability of the packaging material. The water vapour permeability (WVP) characteristics of paperboard, polypropylene, and polyethylene used for pasta were determined at 30 to 45°C and from 11 to 85% r.h. Both temperature and relative humidity affected the water vapour permeability of all the three films. Paperboard showed a greater WVP at 30°C compared to 45°C due to a higher moisture content which swells the matrix. Thus, it did not follow the typical Arrhenius relationship of a higher permeability at higher temperature. Polyethylene and polypropylene, on the other hand, showed a higher WVP as the temperature was increased. A second degree polynomial was fitted to predict the WVP of paperboard as a function of the ambient conditions. It was found that the creases and end openings on a typical paperboard box increase the overall transmission rate by two times over that of paperboard alone, therefore reducing the shelf life to half under adverse conditions. A dynamic mathematical model to predict mixture transfer for pasta packages under controlled unsteady state conditions of temperature and r.h. was developed and tested; good predictions were obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-606
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Food Science & Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1983

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