Changes during Food Freezing and Frozen Storage

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Physics and (Bio)Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020) | Viewed by 30076

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Chemical Engineering, Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Technology, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Interests: kinetic modelling of food deterioration during and post processing; quality and shelf life predictive modelling; food packaging; predictive microbiology; enzyme technology; HHP processing; PEF; osmotic processing and intelligent packaging (e.g. TTI smart labels aiming to develop optimal systems of food cold chain management)
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Guest Editor
Department of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Sciences, University of West Attica (former Technological Educational Institute of Athens), Ag. Spyridonos 28, 12243 Egaleo, Athens, Greece
Interests: processing, preservation techniques and quality control of fruits and vegetables; methods of food processing; shelf life studies and quality assessment; non-thermal processes; osmotic pretreatment of animal (meat and fish products) and vegetable tissues for shelf life extension; smart packaging (time temperature indicators); hurdle technology application; novel food production; sensory evaluation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

An understanding of the frozen food quality deterioration and its relationship with the freezing method applied, ice crystal morphology, food microstructure, glass transition phenomena, temperature storage and temperature fluctuations, can contribute to the improvement of the freezing process and the subsequent handling and storage of food, aiming at preserving an optimum frozen product quality from process to final use or consumption.

Frozen food stability, shelf life kinetics, and especially their mathematical description through appropriate models, are the focus of current studies in order to quantitatively explain and express the effect of temperature, phase transitions, freeze-concentration phenomena, temperature fluctuations at low temperatures, water activity, etc.

Freezing operation parameters modeling and optimization, as well as novel freezing methods applied in order to improve quality retention, process efficiency and energy requirements are also fields of current research.

The subjects covered by this issue include the study of phenomena occurring during freezing, such as ice nucleation, ice crystal growth freezing damage, water migration, recrystallization; freeze burn, based on measurements of ice crystal morphology, cell microstructure and other indices of frozen product quality, applying traditional or innovative methods of analysis (Hyperspectral imaging, near infrared and Raman spectroscopy, DSC, microscopy, Micro X-ray computed tomography and image analysis, SEM, NMR/MRI, etc). In the same context, special focus is also to be given on glass transition phenomena, and their effect on frozen food quality and stability. Another are of interest refers to novel freezing methods to minimize cell damage (such as high pressure freezing, Ultrasound assisted immersion freezing, Electric and magnetic field assisted freezing, Vacuum impregnation with cryoprotectant solution, Gas hydrate formation technique). The effect of pretreatments on quality attributes of frozen foods, as well as the kinetics of the freezing process and the mathematical modeling of products’ post processing shelf life   are also among the main subjects of this Special Issue. Smart freezing and block chain technology, cold chain recording, management, control and optimization are also areas of increasing scientific interest. Finally, methods of extending frozen food shelf life, such as the use of essential oils, antimicrobials, extracts, etc are also to be considered for publication.

Prof. Dr. Petros S. Taoukis
Dr. Maria C. Giannakourou
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • freezing process modeling and design
  • frozen foods
  • glass transition
  • ice crystal growth
  • shelf life kinetics
  • cold chain management and optimization
  • novel freezing technology
  • frozen product quality
  • frozen storage

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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2 pages, 148 KiB  
Editorial
Changes during Food Freezing and Frozen Storage
by Maria Giannakourou and Petros Taoukis
Foods 2021, 10(11), 2525; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10112525 - 21 Oct 2021
Viewed by 2305
Abstract
Multiple factors can directly influence frozen food quality, during processing and post-processing, in the cold chain [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changes during Food Freezing and Frozen Storage)

Research

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17 pages, 2819 KiB  
Article
Quality and Shelf-Life Modeling of Frozen Fish at Constant and Variable Temperature Conditions
by Theofania N. Tsironi, Nikolaos G. Stoforos and Petros S. Taoukis
Foods 2020, 9(12), 1893; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9121893 - 18 Dec 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4835
Abstract
The objective of this study was the investigation of the effect of variable conditions on quality parameters and the shelf life of fish during frozen storage. Three different fish products were tested, i.e., gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) fillets, sea bass [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was the investigation of the effect of variable conditions on quality parameters and the shelf life of fish during frozen storage. Three different fish products were tested, i.e., gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) fillets, sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) fillets, and yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) slices stored in the range of −5 to −15 °C. The kinetic modeling of different shelf-life indices was conducted. Sensory scoring of frozen fish showed high correlation with color (L-value) and total volatile basic nitrogen (TVBN). The temperature dependence of the rates of quality degradation was expressed via the activation energy values, calculated via the Arrhenius equation, and ranged, for the tested quality indices, between 49 and 84 kJ/mol. The estimated kinetic parameters were validated at dynamic conditions and their applicability in real conditions was established, allowing for their practical application as tools for cold chain management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changes during Food Freezing and Frozen Storage)
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16 pages, 5498 KiB  
Article
Effect of Different Combinations of Freezing and Thawing Rates on the Shelf-Life and Oxidative Stability of Ostrich Moon Steaks (M. Femorotibialis medius) under Retail Display Conditions
by Coleen Leygonie and Louwrens Christiaan Hoffman
Foods 2020, 9(11), 1624; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9111624 - 7 Nov 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2227
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the interaction between different rates of freezing and thawing on whole ostrich moon steaks to establish a combination or singular main effect that minimises thaw loss and maximises the retail display shelf-life regarding moisture loss, [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the interaction between different rates of freezing and thawing on whole ostrich moon steaks to establish a combination or singular main effect that minimises thaw loss and maximises the retail display shelf-life regarding moisture loss, colour, lipid oxidation and tenderness. Five characteristic freezing rates (FR: 1, 2, 4, 8, 24 h) were compared with five characteristic thawing rates (TR: 1.5, 3, 6.5, 14, 21 h) in a completely randomised block design. Moon steaks (M. femorotibialis medius) from 125 birds were randomly assigned to a specific treatment combination before being subjected (after thawing) to a 10-day chilled storage at 4 °C shelf-life trial. Thawing rate had no effect (p > 0.05) on any of the quality (colour, drip and cooking losses, shear force, 2-thiobarbituric acid (TBARS)) parameters whilst freezing rate and display time both had significant (p < 0.05) influences. Thaw loss was lowest (p < 0.05) for the FR_1h and FR_2h, followed by FR_4h, FR_8h and FR_24. The FR_1h had the highest (p < 0.05) drip and shear force values during display while the FR_2h and FR_8h had the highest rate of oxidation (TBARS and metmyoglobin formation). FR_24h had the second best (p < 0.05) colour retention after FR_4h and minimal package drip. Overall, FR_4h resulted in the best quality meat over the entire shelf-life with high bloom retention, low TBARS and shear force, and average thaw, drip and cooking loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changes during Food Freezing and Frozen Storage)
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16 pages, 4150 KiB  
Article
Holistic Approach to the Uncertainty in Shelf Life Prediction of Frozen Foods at Dynamic Cold Chain Conditions
by Maria Giannakourou and Petros Taoukis
Foods 2020, 9(6), 714; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9060714 - 2 Jun 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3270
Abstract
Systematic kinetic modeling is required to predict frozen systems behavior in cold dynamic conditions. A one-step procedure, where all data are used simultaneously in a non-linear algorithm, is implemented to estimate the kinetic parameters of both primary and secondary models. Compared to the [...] Read more.
Systematic kinetic modeling is required to predict frozen systems behavior in cold dynamic conditions. A one-step procedure, where all data are used simultaneously in a non-linear algorithm, is implemented to estimate the kinetic parameters of both primary and secondary models. Compared to the traditional two-step methodology, more precise estimates are obtained, and the calculated parameter uncertainty can be introduced in realistic shelf life predictions, as a tool for cold chain optimization. Additionally, significant variability of the real distribution/storage conditions is recorded, and must be also incorporated in a kinetic prediction scheme. The applicability of the approach is theoretically demonstrated in an analysis of data on frozen green peas Vitamin C content, for the calculation of joint confidence intervals of kinetic parameters. A stochastic algorithm is implemented, through a double Monte Carlo scheme incorporating the temperature variability during distribution, drawn from cold chain databases. Assuming a distribution scenario of 130 days in the cold chain, 93 ± 110 days remaining shelf life was predicted compared to 180 days assumed based on the use by date. Overall, through the theoretical case study investigated, the uncertainty of models’ parameters and cold chain dynamics were incorporated into shelf life assessment, leading to more realistic predictions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changes during Food Freezing and Frozen Storage)
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Review

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10 pages, 1602 KiB  
Review
Glass Transition and Re-Crystallization Phenomena of Frozen Materials and Their Effect on Frozen Food Quality
by Yrjö H. Roos
Foods 2021, 10(2), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10020447 - 18 Feb 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 5080
Abstract
Noncrystalline, freeze-concentrated structures are formed during food freezing. Such freeze-concentrated food materials often exhibit crystallization and recrystallization phenomena which can be related to the state of solutes and water. State diagrams are important tools in mapping the physical state and time-dependent properties of [...] Read more.
Noncrystalline, freeze-concentrated structures are formed during food freezing. Such freeze-concentrated food materials often exhibit crystallization and recrystallization phenomena which can be related to the state of solutes and water. State diagrams are important tools in mapping the physical state and time-dependent properties of frozen materials at various storage temperatures. Transition of simple solutions, such as sucrose, can be used to describe vitrification and ice melting in freeze-concentrated materials. A maximally freeze-concentrated material often shows glass transition at Tg′. Ice melting occurs at temperatures above Tm′ These transitions at temperatures above Tm′ can be used to estimate crystallization and recrystallization phenomena and their rates in frozen foods. Furthermore, frozen food deterioration accelerates above Tm′ and particularly as a result of temperature fluctuations during frozen food distribution and storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changes during Food Freezing and Frozen Storage)
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35 pages, 659 KiB  
Review
Antioxidant Activity in Frozen Plant Foods: Effect of Cryoprotectants, Freezing Process and Frozen Storage
by Lilia Neri, Marco Faieta, Carla Di Mattia, Giampiero Sacchetti, Dino Mastrocola and Paola Pittia
Foods 2020, 9(12), 1886; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9121886 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 5971
Abstract
The antioxidant activity (AOA) of plant foods is recognized as an index of the potential health benefits resulting from their consumption. Due to their high perishability and seasonality, plant foods are largely consumed or used as processed products and freezing is one of [...] Read more.
The antioxidant activity (AOA) of plant foods is recognized as an index of the potential health benefits resulting from their consumption. Due to their high perishability and seasonality, plant foods are largely consumed or used as processed products and freezing is one of the technologies used for the production of high-quality foods. However, cell breakages occurring during freezing and frozen storage can lead to the release of antioxidant compounds and their degradation due to chemical and enzymatic oxidation reactions, and thus, they could present a lower antioxidant activity compared to the corresponding fresh product. In this context, process conditions, freezing pre-treatments and the use of cryoprotectants can limit the extent of freeze-induced damages and preserve the antioxidant activity of plant foods. This review collects and discusses the state-of-the-art knowledge on the single and combined effect of freezing and frozen storage conditions on the antioxidant activity of fruits and vegetables as well as the role of cryoprotectants. Classes of compounds responsible for the antioxidant activity of plant foods and the most common methods used for the evaluation of the antioxidant activity in vitro are also presented. The freezing principles and the effects of ice nucleation and crystallization on fruits, vegetables and their main derivatives (juices, pulps) have been addressed to highlight their impact on the AOA of plant foods. The effect of freezing and frozen storage on the AOA of plant foods resulted dependant on a series of intrinsic factors (e.g., composition and structure), while the role of extrinsic processing-related factors, such as freezing and storage temperatures, is ambiguous. In particular, many conflicting results are reported in the literature with a high variability depending on the method of analysis used for the AOA evaluation and data expression (fresh or dry weight). Other intrinsic raw material properties (e.g., cultivar, ripening degree), post-harvest conditions, as well as defrosting methods that in the majority of the studies are scarcely reported, contribute to the aforementioned discrepancies. Finally, due to the limited number of studies reported in the literature and the high variability in product processing, the effect of cryoprotectants on the AOA of plant foods remains unclear. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changes during Food Freezing and Frozen Storage)
25 pages, 1461 KiB  
Review
Osmodehydrofreezing: An Integrated Process for Food Preservation during Frozen Storage
by Maria C. Giannakourou, Efimia K. Dermesonlouoglou and Petros S. Taoukis
Foods 2020, 9(8), 1042; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9081042 - 2 Aug 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4026
Abstract
Osmodehydrofreezing (ODF), a combined preservation process where osmotic dehydration is applied prior to freezing, achieves several advantages, especially in plant tissues, sensitive to freezing. OD pre-treatment can lead to the selective impregnation of solutes with special characteristics that reduce the freezing time and [...] Read more.
Osmodehydrofreezing (ODF), a combined preservation process where osmotic dehydration is applied prior to freezing, achieves several advantages, especially in plant tissues, sensitive to freezing. OD pre-treatment can lead to the selective impregnation of solutes with special characteristics that reduce the freezing time and improve the quality and stability of frozen foods. ODF research has extensively focused on the effect of the osmotic process conditions (e.g., temperature, duration/composition/concentration of the hypertonic solution) on the properties of the osmodehydrofrozen tissue. A number of complimentary treatments (e.g., vacuum/pulsed vacuum, pulsed electric fields, high pressure, ultrasound) that accelerate mass transfer phenomena have been also investigated. Less research has been reported with regards the benefits of ODF during the subsequent storage of products, in comparison with their conventionally frozen counterparts. It is important to critically review, via a holistic approach, all parameters involved during the first (osmotic dehydration), second (freezing process), and third stage (storage at subfreezing temperatures) when assessing the advantages of the ODF integrated process. Mathematical modeling of the improved food quality and stability of ODF products during storage in the cold chain, as a function of the main process variables, is presented as a quantitative tool for optimal ODF process design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changes during Food Freezing and Frozen Storage)
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