Food Engineering Reviews

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 57–76 | Cite as

Heat and Mass Transfer Modeling for Microbial Food Safety Applications in the Meat Industry: A Review

  • J. F. Cepeda
  • C. L. Weller
  • M. Negahban
  • J. Subbiah
  • H. Thippareddi
Review Article


Temperature is an important factor affecting microbial growth in meat products, and hence the most controlled and monitored parameter for food safety in the meat industry. In the last few decades, modeling of heat and mass transfer in products has gained special attention in the meat industry as it can be integrated with predictive microbial models, and eventually with risk assessment models. Thus, heat and mass transfer models can be used as practical tools to assess microbial safety of meat products quantitatively, especially in the event of unexpected processing issues such as thermal processing deviations. This manuscript reviews research efforts related to heat and mass transfer modeling in meat products that have been published in recent years. It synthesizes the main ideas behind modeling of thermal processing in the meat industry encompassing common considerations and techniques. This review specially emphasizes in research efforts that have been oriented to industrial applications, and can be potentially integrated with food safety tools. Literature indicates that despite great advances in the field, there are several challenges that persist and the scientific community must address them to develop models applicable to the meat industry.


Meat processing Meat cooling Finite elements Numerical analysis Food safety Computer modeling Predictive microbiology Meat safety 



This study is a contribution of the University of Nebraska Agricultural Research Division, supported in part by funds provided through the Hatch Act, USDA. Additional support was provided by the USDA-IREE-CGP National Integrated Food Safety Initiative Competitive Grants Program (Grant Contract Number: 2004-51110-01889). Mention of a trade name, proprietary products, or company name is for presentation clarity and does not imply endorsement by the authors or the University of Nebraska.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. F. Cepeda
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. L. Weller
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Negahban
    • 3
  • J. Subbiah
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. Thippareddi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological Systems EngineeringUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  2. 2.Department of Food Science and TechnologyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical and Materials EngineeringUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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