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The effect of electrical processing on mass transfer and mechanical properties of food materials

Porras-Parral, Georgina (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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In this research work, the effect caused by electrical processing on mass transfer in food materials was studied by designing and performing experiments that allowed the visualisation of: the effect of moderate electrical fields (MEF \(\leq\)1000V cm\(^{-1}\)) on mass transfer in cellular materials; the effect of MEF on mass transfer of solutes to polymer networks; and the effect of MEF and pulsed electrical fields (PEF) on mechanical properties of polymer networks.
MEF treatment was performed with continuous alternating current (50Hz frequency) at electrical fields up to 1400V m\(^{-1}\) using a jacket system processing cell to maintain constant temperatures. PEF treatment was performed with a pulse generator at Lund University, Sweden. Extraction of betanin from beetroot was monitored online and measured by spectrophotometry. Mass transfer of rhodamine6G into gel networks (alginate, albumin and gelatine) was measured by image analysis. Effective diffusion coefficients (D\(_{eff}\)) for mass transfer of betanin and rhodamine6G were estimated, assuming Fickian diffusion was valid. Mechanical properties of alginate and gellan gum treated with MEF and PEF were studied. Compression force of gel samples was measured with texture analysis.
Results showed that the application of MEF and thermal treatment had an enhancing effect on the extraction of betanin from beetroot. The orientation of the beetroot slab also appeared to have an enhancing effect on extraction when the slab was placed perpendicular to the electrical field. The application of MEF had a decreasing effect on mass transfer of rhodamine6G to gel networks set with ions. Mass transfer decreased as electrical field increased. This effect was influenced by electrical conductivities of the gel and rhodamine6G solution. No significant effect of MEF was observed on gelatin or albumin. MEF and PEF had an increasing effect on compression force of polymer networks.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Fryer, P. J. and Bakalis, Serafim and Miri, Taghi
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Chemical Engineering
Subjects:TP Chemical technology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1496
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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