International journal of food science and technology vol:30 issue:3 pages:347-363
Conductive heat transfer in lasagna during heating was computed by means of the finite element method, The thermophysical properties of the pasta and tomato sauce layers were derived from their chemical composition. Simulation results obtained with an axisymmetric 2D finite element mesh without the typical layer structure differed only slightly from results obtained with a 1D mesh in which the typical layer structure was incorporated. The predicted temperatures at various locations in the lasagna agreed well with experimentally determined temperatures during heating in a commercial medium scale oven under various operating conditions, It is shown that the temperature dependency of the thermophysical parameters has only a minor influence on the temperature near the centre of the lasagna. However, when the lasagna surface is subjected to temperatures above its boiling temperature, incorporation of the water/vapour phase change in the specific heat capacity can avoid over-estimation of the volume averaged temperature and process value.