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Measuring frequency- and temperature-dependent permittivities of food materials

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2 Author(s)
S. O. Nelson ; U.S. Dept. of Agric., Agric. Res. Service, Athens, GA, USA ; P. G. Bartley

The permittivities or dielectric properties of food materials are of vital importance in understanding the behavior of these materials when they are exposed to electromagnetic fields in the process of microwave cooking or in other processes involving RF or microwave dielectric heating. Understanding these properties is also important in quality sensing by RF and microwave instruments. The most prominent example is instruments designed for rapidly sensing or measuring the moisture content of cereal grains and other food materials. An open-ended coaxial-line probe was used with sample temperature control equipment, designed for use with the probe, to measure permittivities of some liquid, semisolid, and pulverized food materials as a function of frequency and temperature. Graphical data for the dielectric constant and loss factor of homogenized macaroni and cheese, ground whole-wheat flour, and apple juice illustrate the diverse frequency- and temperature-dependent behavior of food materials, and the need for measurements when reliable permittivity data, are required. The materials were selected because interest had been expressed by others in their dielectric properties.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement  (Volume:51 ,  Issue: 4 )