Keywords: computational fluid dynamics, CFD, horticultural produce, innovation, thermal design, simulation software, horticultural packaging, temperature, relative humidity levels, storage stability, shelf life, food quality, fresh produce, visualisation, airflow patterns, ventilated packages, fruits, vegetables, pre-cooling, modelling, postharvest innovation
Novel computational fluid dynamics simulation software for thermal design and evaluation of horticultural packaging
Good airflow patterns and appropriate temperature and relative humidity levels are essential for storage stability, good shelf life and quality of fresh produce inside ventilated packages. Although several types of commercial packaging are available for a wide range of commodities, the majority of these packages have evolved through industry practice and experience. With increasing volume, value and variety of food commodities available in the market, there is a need for a systematic and speedy approach to the design of packaging systems that is applicable to a wide range of commodities and handling systems. In this paper, we present an innovative modelling system based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for the thermal design and visualisation of airflow patterns inside ventilated packages for fruits and vegetables. Test results from the application of prototype software under pre-cooling conditions for fresh fruits will be presented and discussed.