A computational approach of radio frequency processing for temperature uniformity

March 06, 2019

This study developed a computational approach to determine the effect of various possibilities for improving temperature uniformity of food products using a Radio Frequency (RF) application at an industrial level.

Radio Frequency (RF) application is known for its volumetric heating effect that especially enables it to be used for large sized products due to the increased penetration depth. However, its non-uniform electromagnetic field formation results in temperature non-uniformities within the product. This problem has been a major concern for the food industry.

Various experimental studies have been carried out to solve this issue. Most studies focused on product movement within the system that rely on temperature measurement of a limited number of points within the product. These results did not reliably map the temperature distribution, which is particularly important for industrial scale systems. Therefore, this study developed a computational approach to determine the effect of various possibilities for improving temperature uniformity of food products during the industrial process. An experimentally validated mathematical model was used for this purpose that identified the significant parameters for optimal scale – up to an industrial process. These have been demonstrated to be: number of radio frequency cavities (sections), geometrical features, sample size, and applied power – process time.

This study indicated possibilities for RF heating and thawing process to be scaled up to an industrial level. These results have been shared with stakeholders and industrial partners.

If you would like more information or would like to discuss this research further, please contact Ozan Karatas.

Each year EFFoST and Cargill present the student of the year award to six students and also give them the opportunity to show case their research. In this article, Ozan Karatas who won the 1st prize for the MSc student of the year award discusses his research. Currently, Ozan is an active member of the computational food processing (CFπ) lab at the Ankara University (department of food engineering) and studying with Dr Ferruh Erdogdu. His is expected to graduate in the Spring of 2019 and is planning to continue his PhD studies with Dr Erdogdu at the Ankara University.