, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 161-171
Date: 26 Aug 2008

Non-uniform Temperature Distribution During Microwave Heating of Food Materials—A Review

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Use of microwaves has increased largely in the domestic household in the last few decades due to the convenience of using microwave ovens. In the industrial sector, microwave processing is used in some of the unit operations, while it is yet to capture a major place in the industrial applications. The major drawback associated with microwave heating is the non-uniform temperature distribution, resulting in hot and cold spots in the heated product. The non-uniform temperature distribution not only affects the quality of the food but also raises the issue of food safety when the microorganisms may not be destroyed in the cold spots. The temperature distribution during microwave heating has been studied in a wide variety of products by several researchers. This paper summarizes their results and the solutions offered by them to lessen the non-uniformity of heating. The current applications of microwave energy in the industrial sector are also highlighted.