COSTHERM predicts the thermal properties of foods (thermal conductivity, specific heat capacity, freezing point, ice fraction) from the given chemical composition of the food.

The user carries out the following steps:

1. Selects water, protein, fat, sugar, starch and mineral content of his food (% wet basis)

2. Sets any other optional parameters, such as whether the food is solid or liquid, homogeneous or an assembly of particles (in that case specifies the diameter of particles), density (bulk or particle density).

3. Clicks on the mouse to calculate the thermal properties.

4. Saves predictions into a file before exiting.

History of COSTHERM

The computer program COSTHERM was conceived during the COST90 project by Miles, van Beek and Veerkamp (1983) and became very popular because of its simplicity and reasonable accuracy (+- 10%, sufficient for most food engineering calculations). The EU PECO project (1994-1997) further developed COSTHERM, enhancing it a number of important ways, including: improved initial freezing point predictions, prediction of thermal conductivity with greater accuracy and over an extended temperature range, and extending the specific heat and enthalpy models to fat-containing foods.

The program is obtainable from Rubislaw Consulting Ltd.


C. A. Miles, G. van Beek and C. H. Veerkamp (1983).  Calculation of Thermophysical Properties of Foods. In: Physical Properties of Foods. Applied Science Publishers, New York, p. 269-312.