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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Dielectric Spectroscopy Measurements on Fruit, Meat, and Grain

Authors
item Nelson, Stuart
item Trabelsi, Samir

Submitted to: Transactions of the ASABE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2008
Publication Date: October 27, 2008
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/23276
Citation: Nelson, S.O., Trabelsi, S. 2008. Dielectric Spectroscopy Measurements on Fruit, Meat, and Grain. Transactions of the ASABE. 51(5):1829-1834.

Interpretive Summary: Dielectric spectroscopy is the study of dielectric properties (electrical characteristics) of materials and their variation with frequency or wavelength. Dielectric properties are electrical properties that determine how materials interact with electric fields such as those of high-frequency and microwave electromagnetic energy. Therefore, the dielectric properties of materials determine how rapidly they will heat in microwave ovens and lower radio-frequency dielectric heating equipment. Dielectric properties are also important in low power applications, such as the rapid measurement of moisture content in grain and other commodities. Electronic moisture meters use radio-frequency electric fields to sense moisture content in products such as grain, because the dielectric properties are highly correlated with the moisture content of the grain. Studies of dielectric properties have also been conducted to learn whether these properties are related to quality factors such as sweetness in melons, quality of apples in storage, and quality of fresh chicken breast meat. This paper discusses the measurement of dielectric properties across broad ranges of frequency, called dielectric spectroscopy, for fruits, meat, and wheat. It presents graphical information on the dielectric properties of apple, orange, banana, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, watermelon, chicken breast meat, and hard red winter wheat. The moisture contents of the different tissues are also reported, and the dielectric properties variation with frequency is discussed in relation to the moisture content and temperature of the various tissues. The data are of interest to engineers and scientists working on applications such as dielectric or microwave heating of foods and sensing of product quality characteristics through their dielectric properties. The data are useful in the development of techniques for heating foods and nondestructive sensing of quality in agricultural products for the benefit of growers, handlers, processors, marketers and consumers of these products.

Technical Abstract: Dielectric spectroscopy is the study of dielectric properties (electrical characteristics) of materials and their variation with frequency or wavelength. Dielectric properties are electrical properties that determine how materials interact with electric fields such as those of high-frequency and microwave electromagnetic energy. Therefore, the dielectric properties of materials determine how rapidly they will heat in microwave ovens and lower radio-frequency dielectric heating equipment. Dielectric properties are also important in low power applications, such as the rapid measurement of moisture content in grain and other commodities. Electronic moisture meters use radio-frequency electric fields to sense moisture content in products such as grain, because the dielectric properties are highly correlated with the moisture content of the grain. Studies of dielectric properties have also been conducted to learn whether these properties are related to quality factors such as sweetness in melons, quality of apples in storage, and quality of fresh chicken breast meat. This paper discusses the measurement of dielectric properties across broad ranges of frequency, called dielectric spectroscopy, for fruits, meat, and wheat. It presents graphical information on the dielectric properties of apple, orange, banana, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, watermelon, chicken breast meat, and hard red winter wheat. The moisture contents of the different tissues are also reported, and the dielectric properties variation with frequency is discussed in relation to the moisture content and temperature of the various tissues. The data are of interest to engineers and scientists working on applications such as dielectric or microwave heating of foods and sensing of product quality characteristics through their dielectric properties. The data are useful in the development of techniques for heating foods and nondestructive sensing of quality in agricultural products for the benefit of growers, handlers, processors, marketers and consumers of these products.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014
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