Understanding puffing in a domestic microwave oven

Robert Pompe, Heiko Briesen, Ashim K. Datta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This work is intended to develop an overall understanding of puffing of a starch-based snack in a home microwave oven, using primarily the microwave energy. Combination of experimental measurements was used, including dynamic mechanical thermal analysis, CT-Scan, SEM, image processing, and measurement of temperature, moisture content, and expansion ratio. Effects of various product and process parameters on puffing, including those of pretreatment to produce the half product, were studied. Experimental data showed that the physicochemical processes contributing to crust formation were gelatinization of starch, migration of soluble ingredients to the surface, and shrinkage at the surface. A thicker material was harder to puff due to its increased mechanical resistance. Higher microwave power, leading to higher rate of evaporation, increased expansion. Evolution of mechanical properties of the crust greatly affected the final shape of the puffed product. In overall understanding, critical determinants of a puffing process were attributed to three material factors (reduced surface permeability, optimal moisture content, and deformability) and two process factors (intense heat and higher internal pressure from evaporation).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13429
JournalJournal of Food Process Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


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