Improving Heating Uniformity of Dried Fruit in RF Treatments for Pest Control: Model Development and Validation

B. Alfaifi[1], J. Tang[2], Y. Jiao[2], S. Wang[3], B. Rasco[2], S. Jiao[2], S. Sablani[2]
[1]King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
[2]Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA
[3]Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China
Published in 2014

Non-uniform heating is one of the most important challenges during the development of radio frequency (RF) heat treatments for pest control. A computer simulation model using finite element–based COMSOL Multiphysics® software was developed to investigate the heating uniformity of raisins packed in a rectangular plastic container and treated using RF heating. The developed model was then validated by experiments and the results were compared at three horizontal layers. The Simulated and experimental results showed higher temperature values in the middle layers compared with those of the top and the bottom layers. Corners and edges were heated more than center areas in all layers. The model developed here can be used for future investigations to improve the heating uniformity for dried fruit disinfestations.