Center for Simulation of Electromagnetic Processes
Electromagnetic energy ranges from radio waves to gamma rays are used in various applications that impacts our everyday lives. The interaction of electromagnetic (EM) energy (ranging from gamma rays to radio waves) with biological materials has been the basis for development of various applications such as X-ray imaging, spectroscopy, irradiation and dielectric heating (microwave heating, infrared heating, radiofrequency processing), which impacts our lives every day. Still, there exist several untapped potentials for developing EM-based processes in food and biomedical applications.
Several existing EM-based processes such as microwave heating of food products are developed by trial and error experimentation, because interaction of EM energy with biological materials is highly non-linear and complex. Multi-scale modeling can improve our understanding of interaction of EM energy with biological materials, design new EM-based processes, and optimize existing EM-based processes for improving safety and efficiency.
Dr. Sohan Birla - Research Assistant Professor of Food and Biological Systems Engineering
Dr. David D. Jones - Associate Dean and Professor of Biological Systems Engineering
Dr. Jeyam Subbiah - Associate Professor of Biological Systems Engineering and Food Science & Technology
Jia Jia Chen
The electromagnetic frequency spectrum from gamma rays to radio waves have been identified for producing safe processed food products. The most common frequency spectrum, microwave range, 27, 915 and 2450 MHz have being used for pasteurization, sterilization and dehydration of foods. All pervasive domestic microwave ovens have changed the way the time constraint consumers think of cooking at home. Seeing the consumer demand for convenient processed foods, food processers have started a mad rush in occupying grocery shelf space of microwavable products. This madness has already resulted in multiple outbreaks and recalls associated with microwavable food products.
Development of convenient microwavable foods is not as simple as developing products meant for cooking/reheating in conventional oven. A complex interaction of microwaves with food components and package is highly non-linear and not easily comprehend by mere trial and error experimentation.
Development of new products and packages compatible to range of microwave ovens is a real nightmare for R&D team. In such situation computer simulation is the most promising tool.
Last four years active research project funded by USDA has equipped the research group to offer computer simulation services to food processing industry. In recent times, many industries have contacted the UNL research team to avail their simulation expertise.
Materials Properties Management
- Differential Scanning Calorimeter
- Network Analyzer
- Impedance Analyzer
- KD2 Probe
- High performance computing facilities
- COMSOL, Quickwave, Fluent