Analysis of the effects of package design on the rate and uniformity of cooling of stacked pomegranates: Numerical and experimental studies

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed, validated and used to analyse cooling char- acteristics of two different package designs (CT1 and CT2) used for postharvest handling of pomegranate fruit. The model incorporated geometries of fruits, packaging box, tray and plastic liner. Thin layer of plas- tic material with conservative interface heat flux was used to model liners. The accuracy of the model to predict airflow and temperature distributions were validated against experimental data. The model pre- dicted airflow through the stacks and cooling rates within experimental error. Stack design markedly affected the airflow profile, rate and uniformity of cooling. The cooling rate of the two package designs differed by 30% and plastic lining increased the average 7/8th cooling times from 4.0 and 2.5 h to 9.5 and 8.0 h for the CT1 and CT2 stacks, respectively. Profile of high and low temperature regions depended considerably on packaging box design.
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Southern Africa
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