Experimental determination of penetration depths of various spice commodities (black pepper seeds, paprika powder and oregano leaves) under infrared radiation
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During infrared processing, transmitted energy is attenuated exponentially with penetration distance, and its intensity is gradually lost while passing through absorbing or scattering media. Penetration depth is a complex function of chemical composition of a food product, its physico-chemical state and physical properties and wavelength spectrum of energy source. Knowing penetration depth leads to better designing commercial sterilization processes for food products like spices. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine penetration depth of various spices (paprika powder, black pepper and oregano) as a function of water activity under infrared processing conditions. For this purpose, spice samples were prepared at various water activity (aw) levels, and heat flux measurements were carried out to determine the penetration depth. Penetration depth was determined to increase with increasing aw for black pepper seeds and paprika powder while there was no significant change for oregano leaves as a function of aw. Knowing penetration depth is important to design an effective infra-red processing system and an important issue for surface pasteurization processes since infrared radiation effects on microbial inactivation decrease with sample thickness.
|Journal of Food Engineering
|Udgivet - 2015