A screening analysis was performed to determine the influence of independent parameters (18) on thawing times of frozen spherical (prolate and oblate) and finitely cylindrical foods using a computerized simulation procedure assuming food volume shrinkage from density changes and temperature dependent physical properties. Of 18 independent parameters, 6 were significant for both foods: thawing medium temperature, initial freezing point, Biot number, radiative heat exchange, a parameter for effective specific heat and shape factor (nonsignificant influence of volumetric changes). Predictive regression equations were developed for estimating thawing time as function of significant parameters. Predictive equations were validated experimentally. A sensitivity analysis showed errors in thawing time were influenced most strongly by food dimensions, followed by operational temperatures, thermophysical properties and convective surface heat-transfer coefficient.