The food industry has utilized automated control systems for over a quarter of a century. However, the past decade has seen an increase in the use of more sophisticated software-driven on-line control systems, especially in thermal processing unit operations. As these software-driven control systems have become more complicated, the need to validate that these systems operate properly has become more important. In addition to validating new control systems, some food companies have started the more difficult task of validating legacy control systems that have been operating for a number of years on retorts or aseptic systems.
Thermal Processing: Control and Automation presents an overview of various facets of thermal processing and packaging from industry, university, and government representatives. The book contains information that will be valuable not only to a person interested in understanding the fundamental aspects of thermal processing (e.g, graduate students), but also to persons involved with designing these processes (e.g., process specialist at a food processing company) and those who are involved in process filing with USDA or FDA (different divisions of a food processing company). The book focuses on technical aspects both from a thermal processing standpoint and also from an automation and process control standpoint. Coverage includes established technologies, such as retorting, and emerging technologies, such as continuous flow microwave processing. Thermal Processing: Control and Automation covers both theoretical and application aspects of thermal processing, concluding with speculations on future trends and directions.