Heat and mass transfer analogy under turbulent conditions of frying
Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) is a popular vegetable across the world. It is a staple food item of many countries in South America, Africa and Asia where the population depends on the crop as an important source of energy and essential nutrients like vitamins A and C, calcium, iron and copper. It is also a very popular crop in North America. Deep fat frying is one of the favourite processing methods for sweetpotato. The method is fast and the finished product is desired for its unique flavour and taste. The main objective of this study was to establish analogy between convective heat and mass transfer during frying. The accurate estimation of the coefficients for both phenomena is challenging. During frying, the rate of heat transfer from the oil to the food surface is largely controlled by the convective heat transfer coefficient. This heat transfer coefficient is dependent on the interaction between the temperature gradient and the drying rate in a frying process. The temperature gradient and the drying rate in turn partly depend on the thermophysical properties of the product. In this study, thermophysical properties of sweetpotato were studied and modeled as a function of moisture content and temperature. The properties of interest are specific heat capacity, thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity and density. A designed deep fat frying experiment of sweetpotato was carried out under four different oil temperatures (150, 160, 170 and 180°C) and using three different sample sizes (defined as ratio of diameter to thickness (D/L: 2.5, 3.5 and 4.0). Convective heat transfer coefficients under these frying conditions were estimated and computer simulation based on finite element modeling technique was used to determine convective mass transfer coefficients. Correlation between heat transfer coefficient and mass transfer coefficient were investigated with reliable statistical tool. Effects of sample size, oil temperature and frying time on heat and mass transfer were also studied. Specific heat, thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity of sweetpotato were all found to increase with increase in temperature and moisture content. Density decreased with increase in moisture content. Maximum heat transfer coefficient reached during sweetpotato frying was in the range of 700-850 W/m2.°C. Heat transfer coefficient of sample during frying increased with increase in frying oil temperature but decreased with increase in sample size. Same trend for heat transfer coefficient was observed for effects of oil temperature and sample size on mass transfer coefficient. Maximum mass transfer coefficient reached during sweetpotato frying was in the range of 4×10-6 to 7.2×10-6 kg/m2.s. No general relationship was established between heat transfer coefficient and mass transfer coefficient during frying but a relationship was established between maximum heat transfer coefficient and maximum mass transfer coefficient. A trend was also observed between maximum heat transfer coefficient and the corresponding mass transfer coefficient at that point.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentAgricultural and Bioresource Engineering
ProgramAgricultural and Bioresource Engineering
CommitteeTabil, Lope G.; Meda, Venkatesh
Copyright DateAugust 2006