Cracking in rice grains caused by moisture absorption is a major concern among food processors because it has a detrimental effect on the texture. This paper aimed to simulate moisture diffusion three dimensionally (3D) using Fick's diffusion equation, compare the results with an empirical model (Peleg's equation), and simulate in 3D the hygroscopic swelling in rice during soaking at 25, 35, 45 and 55 °C. This study intends to provide preparatory information in understanding the cracking mechanism during soaking. The concept was based on finite element analysis to evaluate both the moisture diffusion and hygroscopic expansion coefficients of milled rice using the reconstructed 3D model of rice geometry. The proposed model was satisfactory for describing the moisture absorption kinetics with root mean square error (RMSE), that ranged from 0.66 to 2.52% dry basis. The results of the 3D simulation of hygroscopic swelling were found to be adequate in representing the swelling characteristics of rice. Analysis of 3D simulation enabled both quantitative and qualitative assessment of the changes in the amount, distribution of moisture, and expansion in the geometry of rice grains.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science