Food and Bioprocess Technology

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 343–358 | Cite as

Kinetics of Food Quality Changes During Thermal Processing: a Review

  • B. Ling
  • J. Tang
  • F. Kong
  • E. J. Mitcham
  • S. Wang
Original Paper


Thermal treatments are extensively used in the food industry for control of pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms and spoilage enzymes. Food quality degradation during those treatments can be a major concern for consumer acceptance. Kinetic studies and mathematical models on quality changes of foods are essential in proper design of thermal treatments to ensure consumer satisfaction. This study provides a comprehensive review of recent progresses on quality kinetics for thermal treatments to inactivate microorganisms and enzymes in foods of both plant and animal origins. This paper mainly covers the theoretical basis for studying quality kinetics, common and special kinetic models to describe major quality attributes, such as appearance, texture, and nutrients, and potential applications of quality kinetic models to developing thermal treatment protocols. Finally, this review describes the challenges in quality kinetic studies and proposes recommendations for future research to maintain food quality and extend shelf life.


Thermal processing Color Texture Nutrients Kinetic model 



This research was supported by grants from Ph.D. Programs Foundation of Ministry of Education of China (20120204110022) and the general program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31371853).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Ling
    • 1
  • J. Tang
    • 2
  • F. Kong
    • 3
  • E. J. Mitcham
    • 4
  • S. Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Mechanical and Electronic EngineeringNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina
  2. 2.Department of Biological Systems EngineeringWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA
  3. 3.Department of Food Science & TechnologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  4. 4.Department of Plant Sciences, Mail Stop 2University of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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