Analyze Solar Food Dryer Designs with Heat Transfer Modeling

Brianne Costa January 6, 2016

Contaminated produce contributes to food waste — a growing problem in the global agricultural industry. Solar dryers are one way to preserve fruits and vegetables, but these devices must be able to function properly to be effective. Heat transfer simulation can be used to analyze solar food dryer designs and identify the right building materials, including phase-change materials (PCMs), which conserve the solar heat. Today, we’ll explore simulation research focused on optimizing a solar dryer design for efficient food preservation.

Read More

Aditi Karandikar September 16, 2015

Do you drool at the very mention of chocolate? If so, you’re a “chocoholic” like me, and Nestlé’s Kit Kat® bar is one of my favorites. For 80 years, people around the globe have devoured this four-piece delight. To ensure every bar of chocolate produced has the same consistency, texture, and taste, the engineers at Nestlé’s Product Technology Centre in York, UK (PTC York) are using simulation to optimize the Kit Kat® bar manufacturing process.

Read More

Categories

Brianne Costa March 24, 2015

Try pouring some wine into a glass. Don’t drink it yet — this is a scientific experiment. When you hold up your glass, you’ll see what look like teardrops running down the sides. These tears of wine are caused by the Marangoni effect, which describes a mass transfer along the surface of two fluid phases caused by surface tension gradients along the interface between the two phases (for example liquid and vapor).

Read More

Categories

Fanny Littmarck November 10, 2014

Worried about bacteria in your tomatoes? Research presented at the COMSOL Conference 2014 Boston shows where bacteria seeps through during hydrocooling — and how we can avoid ingesting it.

Read More

Categories

Fabrice Schlegel September 26, 2014

There are two aspects of home brewing: the culinary side and the engineering one. Many beer lovers start brewing either to improve a recipe, try to clone their favorite beer, or even simply just to see how it works. After brewing a few batches, however, it turns out that the brewing process can also be very challenging from an engineering point of view.

Read More

Andrew Griesmer September 23, 2014

After switching to a more environmentally friendly coffee maker, we recently started disposing of our coffee grounds as food waste instead of trash, here at the COMSOL office in Burlington, MA. Figuring out how to do this properly was a project on its own, but an educational one worth sharing. To pull this off, I learned about composting in my area and was intrigued by the science of composting.

Read More

Categories

Fanny Littmarck September 11, 2014

Baking is just like chemistry class, except you get to eat the results. Today, we narrow in on one ingredient in particular: sugar. More than just a sweetener, sugar serves several other purposes in baking. For one, it keeps our baked goods moist thanks to its hygroscopic properties.

Read More

Categories

Fanny Littmarck August 5, 2014

We tend to do some research before taking to the lab, but when it comes to baking, I’ve been operating in the reverse. In this lighter blog entry, we explore the role of eggs in baking by comparing traditional recipes with vegan versions as well as more modern baking techniques. Chemistry experiments you can eat? Yes, please.

Read More

Categories

Lexi Carver December 17, 2013

You may not think of reheating food in the microwave as a drying process, but as we saw at the COMSOL Conference 2013 Boston, microwave technology — the same technology used in domestic microwave ovens — can be used for drying fruits and vegetables. One poster presented at the conference featured microwave drying of potatoes and how the heat and mass transfer that occurs can be modeled to predict the drying process.

Read More

Edmund Dickinson November 20, 2013

In my work at COMSOL, it’s always interesting to see how broad the field of heat transfer can be. Far from being limited to steel ingots and CPU fans, researchers often use COMSOL Multiphysics to study heat transfer in food manufacturing. One good example of this is the study of thermal and mechanical effects in the production of puffed rice, which was presented at the COMSOL Conference 2013 in Boston.

Read More

Alexandra Foley September 3, 2013

It’s probably something we have all experienced. We get home, stick last night’s leftovers in the microwave, and sit down to have a nice meal — only to realize that the food is scalding hot one bite and freezing cold the next. This experience has prompted me on more than one occasion to wonder: Why does a microwave heat food so unevenly?

Read More

1 2 3