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Journal Articles Frontiers in Chemical Engineering Year : 2022

In Silico Prediction of Food Properties: A Multiscale Perspective


Several open software packages have popularized modeling and simulation strategies at the food product scale. Food processing and key digestion steps can be described in 3D using the principles of continuum mechanics. However, compared to other branches of engineering, the necessary transport, mechanical, chemical, and thermodynamic properties have been insufficiently tabulated and documented. Natural variability, accented by food evolution during processing and deconstruction, requires considering composition and structure-dependent properties. This review presents practical approaches where the premises for modeling and simulation start at a so-called “microscopic” scale where constituents or phase properties are known. The concept of microscopic or ground scale is shown to be very flexible from atoms to cellular structures. Zooming in on spatial details tends to increase the overall cost of simulations and the integration over food regions or time scales. The independence of scales facilitates the reuse of calculations and makes multiscale modeling capable of meeting food manufacturing needs. On one hand, new image-modeling strategies without equations or meshes are emerging. On the other hand, complex notions such as compositional effects, multiphase organization, and non-equilibrium thermodynamics are naturally incorporated in models without linearization or simplifications. Multiscale method’s applicability to hierarchically predict food properties is discussed with comprehensive examples relevant to food science, engineering and packaging. Entropy-driven properties such as transport and sorption are emphasized to illustrate how microscopic details bring new degrees of freedom to explore food-specific concepts such as safety, bioavailability, shelf-life and food formulation. Routes for performing spatial and temporal homogenization with and without chemical details are developed. Creating a community sharing computational codes, force fields, and generic food structures is the next step and should be encouraged. This paper provides a framework for the transfer of results from other fields and the development of methods specific to the food domain.
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Dates and versions

hal-03539627 , version 1 (21-01-2022)





Olivier Vitrac, Phuong-Mai Nguyen, Murielle Hayert. In Silico Prediction of Food Properties: A Multiscale Perspective. Frontiers in Chemical Engineering, 2022, 3, ⟨10.3389/fceng.2021.786879⟩. ⟨hal-03539627⟩
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