A numerical study of extrusion cooking of starch based materials in a single-screw extruder is carried out. The low moisture levels and high temperatures typically encountered in practical circumstances are considered. The starch conversion process is studied in the rheological region of the extruder which is often the last few turns of the screw, where the material is treated as a non-Newtonian fluid. A numerical method based on finite-difference approximation is employed to solve the governing non-linear equations for momentum, energy and mass conservation for a non-Newtonian fluid undergoing physicochemical changes. The initial conditions for the problem are taken from experimental observations. The screw configuration and the operating parameters, such as barrel temperature, screw speed and throughput, are varied to study their influence on the conversion of starch. It is found that 28% conversion is obtained due to viscous dissipation alone, whereas 61% conversion occurs by raising the barrel temperature by about 25°C above the inlet. It is also observed that, at any screw speed, a smaller flow rate caused by a smaller die diameter leads to a higher degree of conversion. Furthermore, it is found that the compression ratio of the screw has a significant influence on pressure rise, bulk temperature and average residence time. As the compression ratio increases the temperature increases but the residence time decreases. The former effect increases the degree of conversion where as the latter decreases the degree of conversion. Therefore there exists a compression ratio at which a minimum degree of conversion at the die is obtained.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science