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Heating Modes and Their Combinations to Optimize Quality

Various modes of heating (microwave, infrared and hot air) have unique abilities in producing certain heating rates and distribution of temperature inside a food material. Resulting moisture profiles from different modes of heating are also unique. "Quality" of a food resulting from processing often depends on the temperature and moisture history at a location in the food and their spatial variations within the food. Thus, optimum combination of heating modes, such as microwave, near and mid infrared, and hot air, can provide the right temperature (or moisture) variations while decreasing the processing time as much as possible. Our work aims at understanding the characteristics of microwave, infrared, hot air and their combination heating.

We are also working on understanding and controlling heating uniformity in microwave heating of non-homogeneous foods.



  • Chen, F., Warning, A., Datta, A. K. and X. Chen. 2017. Susceptors in microwave cavity heating: Modeling and experimentation with a frozen pie. Journal of Food Engineering. 195:1-15.
  • Rakesh, V. and A. K. Datta. 2013. Microwave combination heating. Comprehensive Reviews of Food Science and Food Safety. 12(1):24-39
  • Rakesh, V., Seo, Y., Datta, A.K., McCarthy, K.L., and McCarthy, M. J. 2010. Heat Transfer during microwave combination Heating: Computational modeling and MRI experiments. American Institute of Chemical Engineers Journal, 56(9):2468-2478.
  • Geedipalli, S.S.R., A.K. Datta, and V. Rakesh. 2008. Heat transfer in a combination microwave-jet impingement oven, Transactions of the Institution of Chemical Engineers- Part C, Food and Bioproducts Processing, 86(1):53-63.

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