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Shimadzu Review 78[1・2] (2021)
Vacuum ovens for food processing are characterized by low-temperature dehydration using vacuum pressures to lower the boiling point based on vapor pressure properties and expansion using a pressure difference between the food interior and ambient atmosphere. Those characteristics can be expected to help maintain food ingredient flavors lost by heating, inhibit changes and losses in the nutritional or functional benefits of ingredients, create new textures based on the materials in or shape of processed items, and inhibit hazardous substances generated by heat. In contrast, the fewer gas molecules involved in vacuum heating result in less heat convection that makes it more difficult to achieve uniform temperature distributions. Therefore, for the given development, the heater arrangement, heater output, and heater output distribution, as well as the heater peripheral structures and structural materials were optimized by using thermal-fluid analysis. That verified a good temperature distribution across the large 1.5 m × 2 m processing area, which resulted in a vacuum oven mass production system. This article describes the results of that development work.
1Research & Development Department, Industrial Machinery Division, Shimadzu Corporation, Kyoto, Japan
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