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Design, Fabrication, and Validation of a Microcontroller Based Supercooling Control Unit for Use in Food Preservation.

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Title:Design, Fabrication, and Validation of a Microcontroller Based Supercooling Control Unit for Use in Food Preservation.
Authors:Hoptowit, Raymond A.
Contributors:Biological Engineering (department)
food preservation
data logging
Date Issued:Dec 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:Freezing is the most widely used food preservation technique in the commercial and domestic
market, however the freezing process causes irreversible damages to foods as ice nucleation occurs.
New emerging technologies attempt to prevent these damages from occurring by delaying ice formation
within foods while maintaining internal sub-zero temperatures (i.e., Supercooling). Investigations into
the simultaneous application of pulsating electric fields (PEF) and oscillating magnetic fields (OMF)
during the freezing process for extension of the supercooled state within foods have been conducted. In
such studies it is common to use numerous electrical equipment and instruments to precisely measure
and regulate the power applied to the test food during the supercooling process. As a result, these
studies have proven to be quite expensive.
In an effort to reduce costs, improve portability, and simplify the data collection process a
supercooling control unit was developed to replace all major equipment related to supercooling
research conducted at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (Hawaii, USA). The control unit regulates and
monitors all power within the magnetic and electric field generation systems. A separate thermocouple
based temperature measurement system allows for monitoring of any temperatures associated with the
test food sample or ambient environments. Data logging is accomplished either through on-board SD™
card or through USB port to external PC.
The supercooling control unit offers a total uncertainty of ±0.7˚C for temperature
measurements, ±1.71% of measurements for the PEF current, ±1.67% of measurements for PEF voltage,
±2.88% of measurements for OMF current, and ±1.91% of measurements for OMF voltage. Supercooling
experiments conducted with the newly developed control unit have shown agreeable measurements
with lab grade electrical equipment. 180g top round beef steak (London broil) was successfully
supercooled at -4˚C for a validation period of 7 days, various food quality assessments conducted on the
beef showed comparable results with data from previous supercooling studies.
The control unit provides a seamless data collection process, while maintaining an adequate
level of precision and accuracy within collected data. The newly developed device cuts costs, improved
portability, and offers a scale-able platform upon which additional functionality can be implemented.
Description:M.S. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2017.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: M.S. - Bioengineering

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