Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) offers unique opportunities to monitor moisture transport during drying or heating of food, which can render unexpected insights. Here, we report about MRI observations made during the drying of broccoli stalks indicating anomalous drying behaviour. In fresh broccoli samples the moisture content in the core of the sample increases during drying, which conflicts with Fickian diffusion. We have put the hypothesis that this increase of moisture is due to the stress diffusion induced by the elastic impermeable skin. Pre-treatments that change skin and bulk elastic properties of broccoli show that our hypothesis of stress-diffusion is plausible.
- viscoelastic behavior