Journal of food engineering vol:94 issue:1 pages:110-121
Humidification of chicory root cold stores helps in maintaining the quality and extending the postharvest storage time of chicory roots. Low evaporation rate of the sprayed droplets at such sub-zero temperatures (-2 degrees C to -1 degrees C) favours surface deposition that could have an adverse effect on the efficiency of the storage room. A three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed and used to predict the storage room air velocity, temperature and humidity distributions, and fate of the water droplets that were sprayed for humidifying the storage room. The humidification system in a chicory root cold store was then optimized. The efficiency of the humidification system was affected by length of cold air deflector, stack height, number of nozzles and duration of humidification. Elongating the air deflector, reducing the stack height, reducing the number of nozzles and shortening the humidification time increased the amount of droplet evaporated and decreased the amount of droplet deposited on the stack. The following combinations of room design and operating parameters could clearly give the best performance of the humidification system: deflector length of 0.8 m, two nozzles with an interval humidification of 1.5 min on and 2 min off cycle and stack height of 3.4 m. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.