• agar gel;
  • temperature profiles;
  • pulsed microwave heating;
  • finite-difference model;
  • Lambert's law

ABSTRACT: Cylindrical 2%-agar gel samples were heated by pulsed and continuous microwave applications. The total microwave application time of 3 min was maintained for all experiments. Sample temperature was measured at various depths along the radial dimension to experimentally determine the internal temperature profile as a function of heating time. A local hot spot was observed at the center portion of the sample during the continuous microwave application. This hot spot was less significant during pulsed microwave applications, especially when longer intermittent power-off times were employed. An implicit finite-difference model was used to estimate temperature profiles within the sample during microwave heating. The estimated temperature profiles matched the experimental values well.