## Polyakov loop in chiral quark models at finite temperature

We describe how the inclusion of the gluonic Polyakov loop incorporates large gauge invariance and drastically modifies finite temperature calculations in chiral quark models after color neutral states are singled out. This generates an effective theory of quarks and Polyakov loops as basic degrees of freedom. We find a strong suppression of finite temperature effects in hadronic observables triggered by approximate triality conservation (Polyakov cooling), so that while the center symmetry breaking is exponentially small with the constituent quark mass, chiral symmetry restoration is exponentially small with the pion mass. To illustrate the point we compute some low-energy observables atmore »