Here, we work as for temperature distribution mapping, with the addition of other temperature sensors, positioned at the heart of packaging filled with water and/or bentonite. The data collected is even more precise and can be used to describe the chamber homogeneity not only in terms of temperature, but also heat transfer; i.e. the capacity of the equipment to heat and cool the load homogenously. Explanation: air, steam, water or a mix of these elements brought to a given temperature will not supply the same energy to the product. In the case of a mix (air/steam or water/air/steam), a variation in different proportions of the mix gives rise to significant fluctuations in the heat transfer potential. Therefore, if the proportions of the mix change with the position in the load (as happens frequently), the heat transfer potential will also change. These differences in heat transfer potential have a direct impact on the dispersion of the sterilizing value of your products. This particularly applies to small packaging or products heated by convection. This dispersion is inherent to the packaging / treatment equipment / scale combination. The level of precision of such mapping makes it possible to qualify the repeatability of cycles and define the operating limits of equipment in relation to the products treated.
A heat penetration study performed with instrumented packaging, and this time loaded with products, will give a realistic idea of F0 (sterilizing value) or pasteurization value. It provides several elements of information:
• the minimum F0 (sterilizing value) or pasteurization value and its location
=> essential for bacteriological validation of the scale.
• the maximum F0 (sterilizing value) or pasteurization value and its location
=> useful for validating organoleptic acceptance of the product
• the difference between the minimum and maximum F0 (sterilizing value) or pasteurization value
=> assessment of the overall quality of the process: integration of filling and closure dispersions,
waiting times, scale construction times, etc.