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Caractérisation expérimentale et modélisation multi-échelles des transferts thermiques et d'eau lors de la congélation des produits alimentaires

Abstract : Freezing extends food shelf life by lowering the temperature and mainly thanks to water solidification which decreases water availability for micro-organism growth. Nevertheless, if the food is not packaged or if the packaging is not adherent to its surface, a water transfer occurs simultaneously with the heat transfer during freezing. This water transfer leads to product dehydration which means weight loss. Food dehydration during freezing has consequences on the product weight and so has an economic cost for industrials.Water crystallization is also an important parameter of the freezing process. Indeed, ice crystal characteristics (number, size and shape) may induce food structure changes and irreversible damages. These modifications can alter organoleptic properties and food quality after thawing.Freezing operating conditions (temperature, flow velocity, hygrometry) and some food characteristics (initial temperature, surface, thickness) have an influence on both dehydration and water crystallization.The objective of this thesis is to study and to be able to estimate the water loss and crystal characteristics for non-porous food according to the freezing operating conditions in order to select the best freezing technology.The work was focused on the multi-scale study of heat and mass (water) transfers during freezing, at the product surface and throughout the product : on a macroscopic point of view for dehydration and on a microscopic point of view for crystallization. Each study is built on an experimental and a modelling work.For dehydration, an experimental device was developed to measure weight loss and product temperature kinetics during freezing (mechanical and cryogenic freezing conditions).Moreover, a predictive model (1D) was established for estimation of dehydration and freezing time according to the product and the freezing conditions. Dehydration was studied with a model material (methylcellulose gel-Tylose®) and with minced beef (5 % fat).For crystallization, a model at crystal scale (2D) aims to simulate phenomena related to the water phase change (nucleation and crystal growth) according to the freezing operating conditions. It takes into account water crystallization in solution considering the diffusion of the solute in the cryo-concentrated solution, the release and dissipation of the latent heat of water solidification.Crystallization observations were done in frozen samples of minced beef by X-ray micro-tomography and by cryo-scanning electron microscopy. Some visualizations were also carried out on freeze-dried samples by scanning electron microscopy and optical microscopy (after mechanical or cryogenic freezing).
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Violette Mulot. Caractérisation expérimentale et modélisation multi-échelles des transferts thermiques et d'eau lors de la congélation des produits alimentaires. Génie des procédés. Institut agronomique, vétérinaire et forestier de France, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019IAVF0009⟩. ⟨tel-02365022⟩

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