Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Food Science and Human Nutrition

Committee Member

Dr. William S. Whiteside, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Kyle D. Dunno

Committee Member

Dr. Ronald L. Thomas


Heat transfer in thermal processing is crucial to ensure all parts of a product are sufficiently treated to achieve commercial sterility without unacceptable loss of quality. Optimizing pasteurization methods is recommended to preserve quality attributes such as color, texture, and flavor while maintaining food safety integrity. This research evaluated the temperature variability in pouches during a hot fill and hold process and the effect of those identified differences on color quality of a tomato based food simulant. The performance of multilayer films for pasteurized products in accelerated storage conditions were also studied. The research project was separated into two phases. The objective of the first phase was to understand the profiles of heating and cooling in pouches processed in a simulated hot fill and hold process. The corners of the pouch were found to be the fastest cooling spot within the pouch (p<0.05). The center of the pouch was found to have the highest mean temperature during the hold step of the process and had the slowest cooling rate in the pouch (p<0.05). The trends of heating and cooling were also evaluated using a low viscosity food simulant. This study compared the time and temperature profiles for a static hot fill process versus a process that incorporated rotating the pouch 180° every 10 seconds. For the static hot fill and hold process, mean temperatures of the center and corners of a pouch showed non-uniform heat transfer during the holding period and cooling process. More uniform heating and cooling within pouches was achieved by implementing 180° rotation during processing.