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Once a food is processed it is subjected to a variable temperature‐humidity‐time distribution pattern which can cause further losses. If a truthful nutrition label is to be put on the food package knowledge of this distribution function is important in assessing the further loss that occurs. More important however, is some knowledge of the kinetics of the degradation of the particular nutrient being considered. The method presented in this paper is based on selecting certain criteria and then based on minimal data, decision rules are used to estimate the possible extent of loss. The steps are as follows: (1) Some estimate is made of the minimum, average and maximum temperatures and times for distribution of the food; (2) A decision is made as to whether moisture gain or loss is involved and can change the rate of degradation; (3) A literature search is made as to the kinetics of the degradation of the nutrient (even single point data, i.e., endpoint analysis are useful); (4) A decision is made as to the maximum amount of degradation tolerated for the average and maximum shelf life; (5) The amount of degradation in #4 is calculated based on both zero and first order rate constants estimated from #3; (6) If the amount lost is less than 50% in #5 then that data is used for the label. If it is greater, then the true order of the reaction must be determined in the lab for calculation in #5. Based on these rules a better estimate of losses can be made.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Food Processing and Preservation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1978


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