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Stress simulation and cracking prediction of corn kernels during hot-air drying

Wei, Shuo, Xiao, Bo, Xie, Weijun, Wang, Fenghe, Chen, Pengxiao, Yang, Deyong
Food and bioproducts processing 2020 v.121 pp. 202-212
Zea mays, air drying, corn, cracking, drying temperature, endosperm, model food systems, prediction, relative humidity
A moisture-heat transfer and stress model of corn kernels based on multi-component heterogeneity was developed and verified to predict the stress cracking during hot-air drying. Simulated results showed that the moisture gradient and von Mises stress of each corn component simulated by the verified model increased first and then decreased, where the von Mises stress in the outer layer of corn kernels was larger than that in the inner layer. The maximum von Mises stress of each corn component increased with the increase of drying temperature and the decrease of relative humidity. The stress cracks were mainly formed in hard endosperm and soft endosperm, because the maximum von Mises stress of hard endosperm was larger than the yield stress of the two components, which were agreement with statistical results of stress cracks. Therefore, a drying operation with lower temperature and higher relative humidity is beneficial for inhibiting the stress cracking in corn kernels.