PhD Studentship: Biscuit Baking Modelling.
Engineering & the Environment
Location: Highfield Campus
Closing Date: Friday 16 March 2018
Project Reference: NGCM-110
Manufacturing of biscuits involve several interrelated physicochemical transformations of dough, so that the conditions of the process (dough composition and the method of dough preparation; temperature, humidity, and duration of baking) can significantly affect the texture, taste, colour, moisture, and other properties of final products. Due to complexity of the process there are no theoretical/computational models for the overall process of biscuit making, that could reasonably relate the input and output parameters of the process.
Biscuit making starts with dough preparations. Dough can be represented as a heterogeneous mixture of two continuous protein phases: a gluten gel phase and a liquid phase. Liquid aqueous phase is formed by of albumins, globulins, water-soluble starch (from damaged starch granules) and pentosans mixed with water. A gluten phase is formed by glutelins and gliadins. The phase equilibrium is controlled by mechanical treatment of the dough and by dough additives and ingredients, such as salt, sugars, lipids, surfactants and alcohol produced by fermentation. Aggregation of the gel particles of the gluten phase minimizes contact with the non-wetted liquid phase and results in the formation of dough structure.
The industrial baking is carried out in tunnel ovens, where the dough pieces are carried though the baking chamber by a steel conveyor band. Heat flux, humidity and other oven conditions change in relation to biscuit type. Baking is accompanied by water evaporation, denaturation of proteins, and starch gelatinization. Glass transition of the gluten phase fixes the structure, shape and volume of biscuits. The texture of the final product can be also affected by rheological properties of the dough, which can limit the expansion of the dough during baking. The Maillard reaction where proteins interact with polysaccharides is of great importance for flavour and colour of the products.
The first aim of the project is to develop the dough model that could correctly predict the thermodynamic behaviour of the gluten and liquid phases. The second aim would be to develop the baking model by considering solidification of the gluten phase, evaporation of water, and some chemical transformations. This model will be applied for the analysis of a dough piece placed on a horizontal tray with the set ambient air conditions (temperature, humidity, and heat flux). The results of the modelling will be correlated with the experimental data to be collected through monitoring of the operation of industrial tunnel ovens, and though small-scale laboratory trials.
If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Anatoliy Vorobev, Energy Technologyresearch group, Email: A.Vorobev@soton.ac.uk,Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 8383.
To apply, please use the following website: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/engineering/postgraduate/research_degrees/apply.page This project is run through participation in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Next Generation Computational Modelling (http://ngcm.soton.ac.uk). For details of our 4 Year PhD programme, please see http://www.findaphd.com/search/PhDDetails.aspx?CAID=331&LID;=2652
For a details of available projects click here http://www.ngcm.soton.ac.uk/projects/index.html
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