Re-Thermalization of Individually Packaged Meals.
CSB Community Kitchen is a new initiative at the College of St. Benedict to reduce food waste by distributing leftover food from campus culinary services to people in the area who face food insecurity. Food safety is an important concern to prevent food borne illness that can occur when food is not heated to the proper temperature. Investigating the proper re-thermalization of individually packaged food items included the development of a standardized re-thermalization method to collect data in microwave ovens with different wattages in order to ensure the safety of the food product. Project quantitative assessment methods include food time and temperature data collection and analysis. Qualitative assessments methods include standardized sensory evaluations that determine the acceptability of food in terms of aesthetic appeal, taste, and texture. Project outcomes include designing food package labels with written instructions for easy handling and preparation to be included during food distribution.
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