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Heat transfer during microwave combination heating: Computational modeling and MRI experiments



Combination of heating modes such as microwaves, convection, and radiant heating can be used to realistically achieve the quality and safety needed for cooking processes and, at the same time, make the processes faster. Physics-based computational modeling used in conjunction with MRI experimentation can be used to obtain critical understanding of combination heating. The objectives were to: (1) formulate a fully coupled electromagnetics - heat transfer model, (2) use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) experiments to determine the 3D spatial and temporal variation of temperatures and validate the numerical model, (3) use the insight gained from the model and experiments to understand the combination heating process and to optimize it. The different factors that affect heating patterns during combination heating such as the type of heating modes used, placement of sample, and microwave cycling were considered. Objective functions were defined and minimized for design and optimization. The use of such techniques can lead to greater control and automation of combination heating process benefitting the food process and product developers immensely. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2010