In this study, Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Mortadella Bologna cooking process was investigated for heat and mass transfer. Apparent mass and heat transfer coefficient functions as well as apparent thermal diffusivity and mass diffusion coefficients were experimentally estimated. These thermo-physical properties were used to develop a mathematical model for the simulation of simultaneous heat and mass transfer during Mortadella Bologna PGI cooking. The developed method was successfully validated for both heat and mass transfer by means of experimental cooking tests: maximum errors of about 3.5% and 4% were found for final product temperature and cooking time experimentally obtained respectively. Simulated weight loss values were also found not to differ significantly from those experimentally obtained. In addition, the developed model was successfully validated during a Mortadella cooking process carried out in an industrial plant proposing itself as a predictive tool to forecast and optimise cooking time and weight loss of this type of meat product. The proposed approach may be also used to design air cooking processes of other food products.
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