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Model and simulation development for the convective, hot-air drying of In-shell macadamia nuts

Barbara, Mitchell (2018) Model and simulation development for the convective, hot-air drying of In-shell macadamia nuts. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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The drying of agricultural food crops is an essential process in ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of produce to consumers. This is no less true for cultivated nuts, grains and seeds, which have a certain vulnerability to degradation under moist conditions. The macadamia nut is particularly susceptible to this issue, due to its high oil content and markedly slow drying characteristics, providing rancidity and disease with an opportunity to spoil the produce. In recent decades, the design of efficient industrial drying schemes has become a large focus for researchers, with many studies aiming to better describe the underlying physical processes in food drying. This dissertation details the design and implementation of a fundamental model and accompanying simulation for the drying of nut-in-shell macadamias, intended to aid a future control system design study.

Research is given toward the macadamia industry, as well as some of the relevant physical properties of the nut. An extensive review is given on modelling, with particular importance placed on techniques used for the deep-bed drying of nuts, grains and seeds. Control system architecture is briefly discussed, but is not the primary focus of this report. Verification of work done by prior researchers is carried out, before then deriving a comprehensive deep-bed drying model for macadamias. Crucial aspects toward how such a model is adapted into a MATLAB simulation is given, without intending to become an extensive review on software design. A robust and thorough model verification procedure is conducted, to prove that the final simulation does indeed successfully suit the purposes of control system design.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Bahri, Parisa and DeBoer, Karne
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