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ATB scientist Tuany Gabriela Hoffmann honoured with the ISHS Young Minds Award

Awarded: Tuany Gabriele Hoffmann received the ISHS Young Minds Award for the best presentation. (Photo: Adriana Lugaresi)

Tuany Hoffmann took part in the European Horticulture Congress (EHC) in Bucharest, Romania. (Photo: Tuany Hoffmann)

At the European Horticulture Congress (EHC), which took place from 12 to 16 May 2024 in Bucharest, Romania, ATB scientist Tuany Gabriela Hoffmann was awarded the prestigious ISHS Young Minds Award for the best presentation. Ms Hoffmann has been working as a doctoral student in ATB's programme area Healthy Food since 2022 and is a member of the Packaging and Storage working group. Her awarded research entitled "A Data-Driven Approach for Fresh Produce Preservation Inside Cold Room" was recognised by the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) for the best oral presentation at the EHC 2024 conference. The conference was attended by 800 participants from 67 countries.

The research presented by Ms Hoffmann is part of the two projects DyNatCool" and Fruity-Twin, which are funded by Rentenbank and the DFG respectively. The DyNatCool project deals with the digital transformation of cooling management and the cooling of fruit storage rooms, while the Fruity-Twin project aims to create a digital twin for condensation management in the refrigerated storage of fruit.

The long-term refrigerated storage of fruit, especially apples and pears, often takes place over long periods of time with limited cooling capacity. Traditionally, the design of such cooling systems is based on simple linear calculations that assume high heat loads during short cooling phases.

The DyNatCool project investigates heat transfer in fruits and crates to calculate the transient heat load and improve energy efficiency by using natural refrigerants such as CO2 and propane. Adequate humidity management is crucial, as cyclical cooling can lead to temperature and humidity fluctuations that affect the quality of the fruit. Excessive humidity leads to condensation of water on the fruit, which promotes the growth of microorganisms.

The Fruity Twin project aims to achieve optimum cooling conditions by controlling the degree of condensation. The ATB and the University of Bremen are adapting the digital twin concept used in industry for apple storage.

The work presented at the conference emphasised the importance of heat and mass transfer in the cooling of food, which has a direct impact on food quality. Uneven conditions during cold storage can affect the integrity of the products. The research aims to revolutionise precise energy management and quality control by integrating advanced monitoring and control systems, data science and analytics, in particular the concept of the digital twin. Real-time data on the cooling of apples is collected to optimise dynamic cooling and condensation management. Parameters such as temperature, humidity and heat release will be analysed to increase understanding and improve industrial cooling processes and ensure sustainable and efficient food storage.

We congratulate Mrs Tuany Gabriela Hoffmann on her outstanding work.


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