Skip to main content

Developing a Framework of Transport in Deformable Porous Media for Fundamental Understanding of Food Processes


Structure affects transport

Engineering description of many food processes, such as drying, baking and frying, can be systematically and accurately developed by treating the food as a deformable/swellable porous media with multiphase transport of energy, water, vapor and other components inside this porous media. Transport of energy and moisture couple with biochemical reactions that ultimately lead to quality and safety of the food. We are also adding shrinkage or swelling to the porous media, again using a fundamental approach by considering the equations of solid mechanics. Such mechanistic description provides more insight into a food process by identifying the various transport mechanisms separately as opposed to lumping them under an empirical parameter of effective diffusivity. However, such models require a level of understanding and values of different parameters of the food in terms of structure and transport that is not available today. Our goal is to develop this framework of porous media treatment of foods to be able to understand the processes in much greater detail and therefore be able to optimize them easier.

Selected Publications

  • Datta, A. K. 2016. Toward computer-aided food engineering: Mechanistic frameworks for evolution of product, quality and safety during processing. Journal of Food Engineering 176: 9-27.
  • Gulati, T., H. Zhu and A.K. Datta. 2016. Coupled electromagnetics, multiphase transport and large deformation model for microwave drying. Chemical Engineering Science. 156:206-228.
  • Warning, A., P. Verboven, B. Nicolaļ, G. van Dalen and A.K. Datta. 2014. Computation of mass transport properties of apple and rice from X-ray microtomography images. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies. 24:14-27.
  • Datta, A. K., R. van der Sman, T. Gulati and A. Warning. 2012. Soft matter approaches as enablers for food macroscale simulation. Invited paper in Faraday Discussions, Journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry. 158:435-459.
  • Halder, A., A. Dhall and A. K. Datta. 2011. Modeling transport in porous media with phase change: Applications to food processing. Journal of Heat Transfer, Transactions of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. 133(3): 031010-1--031010-13

Ashim K. Datta

Ashim K. Datta

  • Professor
    Biological & Environmental Engineering
    Cornell University
    208 Riley-Robb Hall
    Ithaca, NY 14853-5701
  • Tel: (607) 255-2482
  • Fax: (607) 255-4080