This study proposes a phenomenological-based semiphysical model (PBSM) for the mixing process to predict meat protein denaturation and their interactions with water molecules when salts and phosphates are present. Protein fractions are measured according to their solubility, which is an indicator of structural changes. A reaction scheme is proposed based on the literature review and the consolidation of individual experiments carried out at an industrial scale mortadella fed-batch reactor. The model is simulated with numerical integration of a set of ODEs governing the time-evolution of species concentrations. The results show that the model was able to predict the water-holding capacity at standard formulation and operational conditions. Practical applications: The knowledge of the effects of processing conditions on the structure and the interactions of muscle proteins contributes to understanding the impact of processing on meat product quality. The phenomenological-based semiphysical model developed in this study has broad applicability in the food industry since it is the first attempt to link meat protein composition with the functional property water-holding capacity mathematically. The high interpretability of model parameters provides a deeper understand of the process phenomena; so that the model becomes a way to develop strategies to improve the process.
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