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Chemical pressure temperature time indicator based on coenzyme Q(0) and sorbic acid


Key words pressure temperature time indicator, pTTI, uniformity, pressure, temperature, chemical reaction, colour change, process impact, non-uniformity, heterogeneity, high pressure processing, high hydrostatic pressure, pasteurization, sterilization, heat transfer, adiabatic heating, kinetics, chemical sensor, sorbic acid, coenzyme Q(10)
Latest version 2010/12/08
Completed by KU Leuven LFT

How does it work?

Primary objective A pressure temperature time indicator (pTTI) allows detection of temperature non-uniformity in a high-pressure vessel, during high pressure processing (stabilizing operation). This temperature non-uniformity is caused by heat transfer of adiabatic heat during compression. This temperature non-uniformity can result in process impact non-uniformity. This tool allows detection of the point of lowest temperature or even lowest impact, in case the temperature dependence of its kinetics match that of the target attributes (quality or safety) (2,3).
Working principle The chemical reaction (Diels–Alder reactions between coenzyme Q(0) and sorbic acid) is characterized by a pressure and temperature sensitive reaction rate. This reaction results in this discolouration of coenzyme Q(0). The reactants (isolated form the environment) are positioned at different locations in the high pressure vessel. After the process, the extent of the reaction is measured by a colour change. Differences in colour at different locations are associated with differences in temperature (1).
Additional effects Once the non-uniformity of the vessel is determined, process parameters can be changed to minimize this non-uniformity. The pTTI can be used to validate this optimization.
Important process parameters pressure, temperature, time
Important product parameters none, as the integrator is isolated from the product

What can it be used for?

Products Packaged foods
Operations Pasteurisation through high pressure processing
Solutions for short comings Process non-uniformity in high pressure processing

What can it NOT be used for?

Products Non-packed liquid products
Operations High pressure thermal sterilisation (batch). No chemical pTTIs have been described yet that can be used under conditions of high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) processing.
Other limitations To asses process impact, the kinetics of the pTTI should match that of the target attribute (safety or quality)
Risks or hazards Integrators should be isolated. Food labelled with the integrator should not be used for consumption.


Maturity Lab scale
Modularity /Implementation This tool can be placed between packed foods or in a labeled (not to be sold) packed food
Consumer aspects No information. No problems expected.
Legal aspects This tool offers a solution for legislation with regard to process control, as direct temperature measurement is difficult in high pressure vessels.
Environmental aspects No information. No problems expected.

Further Information

Institutes KU Leuven LFT, IRTA, CSIC - IATA
References 1. Fernández-Garcia, A. et al. (2009) A simple coloured indicator for monitoring ultra high pressure processing conditions. Journal of Food Engineering 92, 410-415.

2. Van der Plancken, I. et al. (2008) Impact evaluation of high pressure treatment on foods: considerations on the development of pressure-temperature-time integrators (pTTIs). Trends in Food Science & Technology 19, 337-348.

3. Hartmann, C. & Delgado, A. (2003) The influence of transport phenomena during high-pressure processing of packed food on the uniformity of enzyme inactivation. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 82, 725-735.

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Created by LiesbethV on 26 May 2011, at 11:02