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Radio Frequency Dielectric Properties of Bulk Canola Seeds under Different Temperatures, Moisture Contents, and Frequencies for Feasibility of Radio Frequency Disinfestation

Yu, D. U., Shrestha, B. L., Baik, O. D.
International journal of food properties 2015 v.18 no.12 pp. 2746-2763
canola, dielectric properties, disinfestation, heat, insect pests, linolenic acid, radio waves, seeds, temperature, water content
The parallel capacitances and resistances of the bulk canola seeds were measured to determine the dielectric properties of canola seeds using a radio frequency dielectric fixture at different levels of temperature (30–80°C) and moisture content (5–11% w.b.), over the frequency range of 5 to 30 MHz. The dielectric constant (ε′) increased from 3.82 to 7.85 with increasing temperature and decreasing frequency regardless of the seed moisture contents. The dielectric loss factors (ε”) of the bulk seeds increased with increasing temperature and moisture content and decreased with frequency, ranging between 0.11 and 13.0. The penetration depth of the electromagnetic power in the bulk seeds varied from 1.30 to 48.0 m depending upon temperature, frequency, and moisture content. The distinct correlation of sensitivity of dielectric properties with moisture content was not observed except for that of penetration depth. The dielectric properties of the bulk canola seeds were higher than those of other oil seeds at various moisture contents; it might be affected by relatively higher linolenic acid content among other fatty acids. The large difference of the dielectric loss factors of insect pests cf. those of canola seeds showed potential for radio frequency disinfestation based on selective heating of insect pests in the canola seeds. The dielectric properties determined can be used for simulating temperature distribution within the bulk canola seeds during the radio frequency process.