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Characterisation of the global breakage pattern of maltodextrin agglomerates

García-Armenta, Evangelina, Gutiérrez-López, Gustavo F., Hernández-Sánchez, Humberto, Alamilla-Beltrán, Liliana
Powder technology 2019 v.343 pp. 362-365
digital images, equations, food industry, image analysis, maltodextrins, models, morphometry, powders, quality control
Breakage is important in several operations in food industry as well as in quality control of brittle products. Recently, the breakage pattern of maltodextrin agglomerates (a food model) has been described by our research group by using multifractal parameters; however, this behaviour has not elucidated and explained completely such pattern from the onset of breaking to the edge of the breakage profile. Therefore, the aim of this work was to analyse the geometry and symmetry of 10 sections of the breakage pattern of maltodextrin agglomerates by means of digital image analysis (DIA) and fractal analysis. Results showed significant differences in monofractal dimension (MFD) values at 30% and 90% of the breakage pattern length, indicating that two important morphometric changes occurred along the breakage pattern: one section characterised by a MFD value of 1.1 (more irregular morphology) and other section with a MFD value of 0.8 (less irregular morphology). To validate and verify the experimental MFD values, Monte Carlo derived models were fitted to experimental data, obtaining predicted MFD values in agreement to those obtained by DIA. Predicted MDF values were mostly affected (more sensitive) by the inputs to the linear equation as compared to those of a sixth-order equation. Therefore, the onset of the breakage pattern had a different morphology in comparison to the edge of the profile. Also, no significant differences in lacunarity values were observed along the two (according to MFD values) sections of the breakage pattern. This study helps to explaining the multifractal nature of the breakage pattern and provides valuable information towards the understanding of the complex phenomenon of breakage and its onset.