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Influence of mashed potato dielectric properties and circulating water electric conductivity on radio frequency heating at 27 MHz.

Author information

1
Dept. of Biological Systems Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA.

Abstract

Experiments and computer simulations were conducted to systematically investigate the influence of mashed potato dielectric properties and circulating water electric conductivity on electromagnetic field distribution, heating rate, and heating pattern in packaged food during radio frequency (RF) heating processes in a 6 kW, 27 MHz laboratory scale RF heating system. Both experimental and simulation results indicated that for the selected food (mashed potato) in this study, the heating rate decreased with an increase of electric conductivity of circulating water and food salt content. Simplified analytical calculations were carried out to verify the simulation results, which further indicated that the electric field distribution in the mashed potato samples was also influenced by their dielectric properties and the electric conductivity of the surrounding circulating water. Knowing the influence of water electric conductivity and mashed potato dielectric properties on the heating rate and heating pattern is helpful in optimizing the radio frequency heating process by properly adjusting these factors. The results demonstrate that computer simulation has the ability to demonstrate influence on RF heat pattern caused by the variation of material physical properties and the potential to aid the improvement on construction and modification of RF heating systems.

PMID:
19227075
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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