K-Value’s Importance in Thermal Processing

The application of heat is both an important method of preserving foods and a means of developing texture, flavour and colour. It is also one of the most difficult parts in food processing, because there are many variables, like K-value, you have to count in.

Heat Transfer Coefficient (K-Value)

The amount of heat that is needed to achieve the results you want is related to the so called ‘heat transfer coefficient’ (in literature also known as K-value or U-value). The heat transfer coefficient takes into account the individual heat transfer coefficients of each stream and the resistance of the pipe material.

In short, the formula for calculating the right type of Kelstream is: q = UAΔT, where is:
q = heat transfer rate (W)
U = overall heat transfer coefficient (W/(m²·K))
A = heat transfer surface area (m2)
ΔT= Difference in temperature (temp. in – temp. out)

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