Moisture distribution in broccoli: measurements by MRI hot air drying experiments

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The internal moisture distribution that arise in food products during drying, is a key factor for the retention of quality attributes. To reveal the course of moisture content in a product, internal moisture profiles in broccoli florets are measured by MRI imaging during drying experiments with controlled air flow and temperature. The 3D images concern a matrix size of 64×64×64 elements. Signal intensity is converted to product moisture content with a linear relationship, while taking a minimum detectable moisture content of 0.3 kg water/ kg dry matter into account. Moisture content as a function of time is presented for a 2D cross sectional area in the middle of a broccoli sample. The average moisture contents for the cross sectional area obtained from the MRI imaging are compared with spatial model simulations for the moisture distribution. In that model the effective diffusion coefficient is based on the Free Volume Theory. This theory has the advantage that the changed mobility of water in the product during drying is taken into account and the theory also predicts the moisture transport in the porous broccoli floret. Key parameters for the Free Volume Theory are estimated by fitting to the experimental MRI results and the effective diffusion coefficient is given as a function of the product water content.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)640-646
JournalProcedia Food Science
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • profiles
  • nmr
  • diffusivity
  • model
  • food
  • gel

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