Quantitative neutron imaging was applied for the dynamic monitoring of the internal moisture distribution of fruit slices during convective drying in a drying tunnel. The impact of several process conditions was evaluated, including airflow temperature, air speed and incident radiation. This technique also unveiled that anisotropic shrinkage was caused, in part, by spatially heterogeneous dehydration, as induced by the presence of the peel. Neutron imaging provided unique graphical and quantitative insights on how the internal water distribution evolved. Thereby, this imaging technique has large potential to complement conventional techniques for monitoring, controlling and optimising drying processes of complex biomaterials, or to generate high-resolution validation data for numerical simulations.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We acknowledge the support of the World Food System Center (WFSC) of ETH Z?rich (www.worldfoodsystem.ethz.ch) and the support of the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF (project 200021_160047).
- Non-destructive imaging