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6 Heat and Mass Transfer

during Baking
Emmanuel Purlis

6.1 Introduction .................................................................................................. 173
6.2 Heat and Mass Transfer in the Baking Oven ................................................ 174
6.2.1 Heat Transfer .................................................................................... 175
6.2.2 Mass Transfer.................................................................................... 178
6.2.3 Heat and Mass Transfer Coefficients ................................................ 179
6.3 Heat and Mass Transfer in the Product ........................................................ 180
6.3.1 Experimental Data ............................................................................ 181
6.3.2 Transport Mechanisms: Phenomenological Model .......................... 184
6.4 Concluding Remarks .................................................................................... 187
References .............................................................................................................. 187

Baking is the final and most important step in making bread and related products,
e.g., cake and biscuit, and it can be defined as the process that transforms dough,
basically made of flour, water, and leavening agents, to a food product with unique
sensorial features by the application of heat inside an oven. In this sense, baking
is considered as a heat transfer unit operation. Nevertheless, the application of
heat generates mass transfer processes between the product and the oven ambient
and inside the product. Consequently, baking is a simultaneous heat and mass
transfer process from the transport phenomena point of view. Furthermore, if we
consider the airflow characteristics of an oven and the transport by convection
inside the product, the momentum transfer (i.e., fluid dynamics) should be taken
into account as well. Other intrinsic features that increase the complexity of the
transport phenomena underlying this unit operation are the formation of a porous
structure and the volume change (expansion and shrinkage) in the product during
On the other hand, baking is a traditional food process that mostly depends
on the decision of experts or skilled operators. This is partly because the sensory
attributes of products such as color and texture properties are the main quality
aspects to assess in baking, since they determine the preference of consumers (we
assume that good manufacturing practices are applied and thus no microbiological
risk has to be considered). In other words, baking is not a food preservation opera-
tion such as sterilization or freezing, but it is a food manufacturing process with

174 Advances in Heat Transfer Unit Operations

the application of heat. Besides product formulation, oven management plays a key
role in the development of sensory properties because they are the result of the
physical and chemical changes occurring during baking, which are determined by
transport phenomena. Therefore, it becomes essential to understand heat and mass
transfer processes in order to design, control, and optimize the baking operation.
It is worth noting that these tasks are often performed by using a trial-and-error
procedure, which leads to a high consumption of resources and therefore to eco-
nomical losses. In this way, the global aim of developing knowledge about trans-
port phenomena in food processing operations is to minimize such losses (besides
academic objectives).
In general, the study of transport phenomena is performed by using experimen-
tal and theoretical approaches. Experimental studies involve the reproduction of
the process in the laboratory or the pilot-scale plant under a wide range of oper-
ating conditions (if possible). During the tests, several variables and properties
can be measured and recorded, e.g., temperature, water content, quality attributes.
Then, the obtained data can be used to propose hypotheses on heat and mass trans-
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fer mechanisms. The theoretical approach is based on mathematical models devel-

oped from transport phenomena principles or theories, which are used to perform
computer simulations of the process under study. Both approaches are interrelated,
and they are complementary; phenomenological models proposed from experi-
mental data are generally based on physical laws or principles (e.g., Fouriers law
of heat conduction), and hypotheses used to formulate transport models have to be
validated using experimental data. Furthermore, the thermophysical properties are
generally defined through transport phenomena laws (e.g., thermal conductivity is
defined by Fouriers law of heat conduction), and experimental tests are needed to
estimate their values. In conclusion, both approaches are important for the study
and the understanding of transport phenomena occurring in any unit operation or
This chapter is dedicated to reviewing the heat and mass transfer processes
occurring during a baking operation. According to previous definitions, the per-
spective of the analysis is experimental or phenomenological. The preceding chap-
ters about the principles of transport phenomena and their properties provide the
framework for discussion. The objective of this part is to present a scientific back-
ground to comprehend the subsequent contents of the book, i.e., baking equip-
ment, physical and chemical changes in the product, and mathematical modeling
of the baking process. In this sense, the general hypothesis is that the development
of knowledge about the underlying physics of unit operations and processes is
essential to understand the consequences of the variation of operating conditions
on the characteristics of the final product and process parameters such as energy


Ovens are the heat transfer equipment used to perform the baking operation.
The purpose of the oven is to provide the energy necessary to generate the
Heat and Mass Transfer during Baking 175

transformation from dough to product (e.g., bread, cake, and biscuit) and the devel-
opment of sensory attributes. Although this book includes a section dedicated to
baking ovens (Chapter 7), here, we give a short introduction of this equipment
in order to establish a minimum background to discuss heat and mass transfer
processes occurring inside ovens during baking. Please refer to Chapter 7 for a
detailed description and discussion on baking ovens. Basically, the oven consists
of a baking chamber where food is placed, a heating unit or system that can be a
part or not of the baking chamber, and insulation and construction materials in
contact with the ambient. Additionally, the baking chamber can be equipped with
decks, grates, or any other supporting device to directly place the products, which
in turn can be disposed into baking supports (trays, molds, pans, etc.). According
to heat supply mode, baking ovens can be classified into direct and indirect heat-
ing equipment. In the first case, heat is generated within the baking chamber and
directly transferred by combustion gases from a clean gas fuel, e.g., natural gas or
liquefied petroleum gas, or by a microwave power source (nonconventional ovens).
In the second case, the air circulating in the baking chamber is heated by a com-
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bustion chamber through conductive walls separating both chambers, by steam

tubes, or by electrical resistances. It is worth noting that air plays a key role in the
indirect heating of ovens. Regarding the operation mode, ovens can be divided into
batch and continuous (tunnel) ovens. In the latter case, dough is transported on a
conveyor band through the baking oven. The conveyor band can be made from
steel, steel mesh, or stone (granite, concrete, etc.), in order to imitate a traditional
batch oven. In general, batch ovens are used for breads, and tunnel ovens for batter
products and biscuits (Purlis 2012b).
In the next sections, we will discuss heat and mass transfer processes occurring
in the baking oven, including the operating considerations. It is worth noting that
the separation between heat and mass transfer mechanisms is only for the clarity of
presentation; such processes simultaneously occur in the baking operation.

6.2.1 Heat transfer

In a conventional baking oven, the generated heat is transferred to the product by
three modes: conduction, convection, and radiation. Heat conduction occurs from
the hot solid surfaces in direct contact with the product toward to the product. Such
surfaces can be a baking support or any supporting device if no mold is used, e.g.,
floor of the baking chamber, tray, grate, conveyor band. Since the objective of these
devices is to give support and/or shape to the products, high conductive materials
with minimum resistance to heat transfer are used, so the energy generated is mostly
utilized for baking. In this sense, the contribution of conduction to the overall heat-
ing is relatively easy to control because the thermophysical properties of such mate-
rials are generally known, as well as the transport mechanism, i.e., Fouriers law
of heat conduction. Therefore, the problem relies on the way that the food and the
supports are heated by convection and radiation.
Convection mode represents the heat transferred by means of a moving fluid. Then,
natural or forced convection can be obtained depending on flow characteristics, i.e.,
176 Advances in Heat Transfer Unit Operations

the absence or the presence of fans and blowers. For instance, in an indirect electri-
cal baking oven, air is heated by the resistances located at the baking chamber walls,
and it transports the accumulated (internal) energy to the dough and the supports by
fluid movement. In theory, heating by convection is governed by energy and momen-
tum equations; this implies knowing the velocity and the temperature fields in the
baking oven ambient. Since this is not straightforward and complex calculations
are involved, the classical (practical) approach of transport coefficients is generally
used to analyze the contribution of the convection mode. Therefore, convection is
described using Newtons law of cooling, which is actually the definition of the heat
transfer coefficient between a surface and the surrounding fluid. The heat transfer
coefficient comprises flow characteristics related to momentum and thermal bound-
ary layers, i.e., the resistance to heat transfer between the moving fluid and surface.
The contribution of the convection heating mode to the baking process is con-
trolled by adjusting the flow characteristics, mainly by the use of fans or similar
devices. Moreover, impingement ovens use jets or nozzles to obtain very high heat
transfer coefficients, although this is not a common practice. The purpose of a forced
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convection device is to recirculate the air or the combustion gases surrounding the
product and the supports in order to maintain the driving force as high as possible,
i.e., the temperature difference between the fluid and the surfaces. Besides, as more
turbulence is generated, less resistance to heat transfer is present, and so higher val-
ues of heat transfer coefficients are obtained. From the product quality perspective,
forced convection aims to provide a uniform flow minimizing stagnant zones, so an
equal distribution of heat can be obtained. This results in a homogeneous develop-
ment of sensory attributes in the products.
Thirdly, heat transfer by radiation directly occurs between surfaces or bodies at
different temperatures (above absolute zero) without any medium, solid or fluid, con-
trary to conduction and convection. According to StefanBoltzmanns law, the heat
flux by radiation is proportional to the difference of the fourth power of the absolute
temperatures. So, when high temperatures are used such as in baking operation,
the contribution of radiation to the overall heating becomes relevant, and it has to
be taken into account. In a baking oven, heat flux by radiation is established from
the oven heating surfaces (walls, electrical resistances, steam tubes, etc.) toward the
product and baking supports. Besides, the energy transport by radiation depends on
the emissivity of surfaces, the relative position of the surfaces (view factor), and the
presence of absorbing media between them (Bird et al. 1960). In this sense, dry air
is often considered as a transparent material, i.e., it transmits all energy received.
However, the moisture content of the oven ambient can be significant (we discuss
mass transfer later), and the influence of water vapor on the radiation flux should
be taken into consideration (or at least, not neglected). Water vapor and other gases
(e.g., from combustion) are absorbing media, i.e., they absorb part of the radiant
energy emitted by the heating surfaces but also emit part of this radiant energy. The
levels of absorption and emission depend on the water vapor concentration (relative
humidity) in the baking chamber (Krist-Spit and Sluimer 1987). Due to all these
characteristics of radiation, its contribution is the most difficult to control of all three
heating modes.
Heat and Mass Transfer during Baking 177

Finally, the relative contribution of each individual mode of heat transfer depends
on the oven design, configuration, and operation. In conventional baking ovens, radi-
ation is the predominant mode of heat transfer, accounting for between 50% and 80%
of the total supply heat (Zareifard et al. 2009). As conduction is of minor importance
because it only adds resistance through baking supports, convection is the second
heating mode to be considered. Nevertheless, the variation of airflow in the baking
chambers is used for controlling the total heat supply during baking, as the convec-
tive component of heat transfer can be effectively changed. For instance, the use of
forced circulation in the baking chamber can duplicate or triplicate the contribution
of convection, but it also increases the weight loss of the productthis is discussed
in the next section (Krist-Spit and Sluimer 1987). The importance of studying and
developing knowledge about heat transfer modes in baking ovens relies on two main
aspects of the process: energy consumption and quality of final products. Baking is
an energy-intensive operation due to the evaporation of water in the product. The
energy demand for a conventional baking process is around 4 MJ/kg, although it can
be higher (up to 7 MJ/kg) depending on specific products and operating conditions.
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In this sense, baking is similar to drying, both demanding a high amount of energy
in comparison with chilling, freezing, and canning, whichneedless than 1 MJ/kg
(LeBail et al. 2010). On the other hand, sensory attributes such as texture, appear-
ance, taste, and aroma are affected by the amount of energy applied and the propor-
tion of the radiation and convection contributions.
With respect to nonconventional baking ovens, alternative or nontraditional heat-
ing sources are used with the aim of reducing time and energy consumptions of the
process. Microwave heating has a potential in this regard, since it involves internal
heat generation without the use of convection, and therefore, the heating rate in the
product can be very high. Microwave energy is distributed throughout the product
(internal mechanisms are discussed later), and the oven is at ambient temperature. In
this way, surface browning and crust formation are not promoted, and products with
unacceptable texture, high moisture loss, and rapid staling are obtained (Demirekler
et al. 2004). To solve these quality issues, different alternatives have been proposed
in combination with microwave heating, leading to combination or hybrid ovens.
The general idea is to add the convection and/or radiation heating modes to micro-
wave energy generation. In the first case, the forced convection of air heated by
electrical resistances is used (this type of hybrid ovens are available for domestic
use). In the second case, an option is to incorporate a halogen lamp to a micro-
wave oven. Halogen lamp heating provides near-infrared radiation that is near the
visible light region of the electromagnetic spectrum, with high frequency and low
penetration depth. This radiation affects only the surface of the foods, providing the
required temperature values for browning development in bakery products (Keskin
et al. 2004). Very good results for bread and cake baking have been reported using
a halogen lamp/microwave combination oven; the products have comparable quality
with conventionally baked items, while the process time was reduced by 6080%
(Demirekler et al. 2004; Sevimli et al. 2005; Sumnu et al. 2005).
As a summary of the discussion, Figure 6.1 includes a scheme with different con-
tributions to heat transfer inside a baking oven.
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h r r h

c c

k k

h h

FIGURE 6.1 Contributions to heat transfer in a baking oven. Two samples are shown, one
within a baking support (right) and the other directly over a supporting device (left). Key:
k,conduction; r, radiation; h, convection; c, condensation (steam injection).

6.2.2 Mass transfer

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In the baking oven, mass transfer is related to the crust formation (whether required
or not), so the main component to be considered is water. In this way, moisture con-
trol in the baking chamber is important since the crust or the surface is a key aspect
of the product quality, e.g., browning development, appearance, texture. Besides, the
crust is the boundary of the food; thus, internal mechanisms of heat and mass trans-
fers will be affected by its development. On the other hand, the evaporation of water
from the product (i.e., crust formation) requires around 25% of the total energy used
for the baking operation (latent heat of water vaporization is 2.26 MJ/kg at 100C),
and a similar value is utilized for the extraction of water vapor generated (Le Bail
et al. 2010).
The water vapor generated by evaporation on the product surface is removed by
convection, i.e., the movement of the fluid surrounding the product. The mass flux by
convection is defined in an analogous way to heat convection, proportional to the dif-
ference between mass concentrations of the ambient and the surface, with the con-
stant of proportionality being the mass transfer coefficient. In the same way as for
heat, the mass transfer coefficient depends on flow characteristics: forced convection
increases the interface mass transport by diminishing the boundary layer resistance
and maintaining the driving force for convective flux. At this point, the simultane-
ous character of heat and mass transfer during baking is noticeable (keep in mind
that momentum transfer is included in the interface transport coefficients). Forced
convection can be utilized to increase the heat transfer toward to the product, but it
will also increase the mass transfer from the product. This implies that forced con-
vection will give a higher heating rate, leading to a reduction in operation time, but
as mass transfer is also augmented, the evaporation rate will increase giving more
weight loss and eventually a thicker crust in the products. Therefore, there exists a
compromise situation between operation and product parameters governed by heat
and mass transfer processes in the baking oven.
In some applications such as baking of crispy bread rolls or baguettes, steam
is injected at the beginning of the process to plasticize the dough surface. Since
Heat and Mass Transfer during Baking 179

cond evap

FIGURE 6.2 Contributions to mass transfer in a baking oven. Key: evap, evaporation; cond,
condensation; arrows account for convection.

the dough surface is at low temperature, the water vapor condensates giving the
latent heat and increasing the moisture content of the surface. In consequence, steam
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injection enhances the initial heating without dehydration of the dough. This facili-
tates the expansion of the pieces at the beginning of baking (known as oven rise).
Afterwards, the bread surface starts to dry, and the typical crisp and browned crust
is obtained (Le Bail et al. 2010).
As a summary, Figure 6.2 shows a scheme with the described contributions to
mass transfer inside a baking oven.

6.2.3 Heat and Mass transfer CoeffiCients

The determination and the prediction of heat and mass transfer coefficients are
important tasks in order to characterize a baking oven in terms of operating condi-
tions, i.e., temperature, relative humidity, and air velocity. For instance, transport
coefficients together with oven temperature can be used to study the process and
the quality parameters with the aim to control, optimize, and design the baking
operation (Purlis 2011, 2012a). Furthermore, these parameters are essential for the
mathematical modeling and simulation of the baking process, as they defined the
convective boundary conditions of the system of governing equations.
In the literature, the values of a combined or an apparent surface heat transfer
coefficient are usually reported. Such term refers to the combined contribution of
convection and radiation heating modes. The use of this combined coefficient is asso-
ciated with practical and modeling aspects. Depending on the experimental method
used to determine the heat transfer coefficient, the individual contributions can be
separated or not. Consequently, a simplified boundary condition can be used for the
heat balance equation, by adding radiation contribution to convection via the (experi-
mental) combined heat transfer coefficient. There exists a variety of techniques to
determine and estimate the value of the heat transfer coefficient. The correlations of
the Nusselt number are tabulated for a wide range of situations, giving the value of
the convective coefficient. On the other hand, the combined heat transfer coefficient
can be determined by the lumped capacity method; the measurement of combined
heat flux by a surface sensor (if the sensor is covered in some way to not absorb heat
180 Advances in Heat Transfer Unit Operations

by radiation, the convective contribution can be determined separately), an inverse

method (requires a mathematical model); or a psychometric method if evaporation
occurs. A sophisticated technique is the computational fluid dynamics, which can
be used to compute the value and the spatial distribution of the heat transfer coef-
ficients (both combined and convective) by simultaneously solving the momentum
and energy equations in the oven ambient. Reference values for conventional baking
ovens with a natural convection mode are between 5 and 20 W/(m2 K), while forced
convection provides values greater than 10 W/(m2 K) and up to 4050 W/(m2 K)
depending on airflow characteristics. When air impingement is used, the air velocity
can be higher than 23 m/s, and the heat transfer coefficient can be increased to up to
400 W/(m2 K) (Carson et al. 2006; Sakin et al. 2009; Zareifard et al. 2009).
With regard to the convective mass transfer coefficient, the classical estimation
method is the use of heatmass analogy, e.g., ChiltonColburn analogy. In this
method, the mass transfer coefficient is calculated from the value of the heat transfer
coefficient and the surrounding fluid properties (Bird et al. 1960). This analogy is
obtained considering a constant rate of evaporation from a saturated surface. As we
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will discuss later, such an ideal situation is not found in baking: structural changes
on the product surface due to crust formation gives lower values of mass transfer
coefficient than those estimated from heatmass analogy. In this way, a correction
factor can be introduced by parameter estimation (Purlis and Salvadori 2009b). On
the other hand, inverse techniques and experimental methods based on the drying
rate during baking can be performed (Demirkol et al. 2006). In the case of the mass
transfer coefficient, the values are more influenced by the product being baked than
in the case of the heat transfer coefficient, since the evaporation rate determines the
mass flux from the surface. In this sense, it is difficult to give reference values; for
instance, the order of magnitude is between 10 7 and 10 9 kg/(Pa m2 s) (note that the
units depend on the driving force used to define the mass flux).


The transport mechanisms inside the product are determined by material proper-
ties and external conditions, which establish the driving forces for heat and mass
fluxes. On the one hand, bakery products are porous, hygroscopic materials made
from dough with medium-high water content (before baking). On the other hand,
external conditions refer to heat and mass transfers in the oven ambient, which have
been previously discussed. While a separate description of heat and mass transport
processes was presented for the oven ambient, this is not appropriate for a discussion
regarding the product. Internal transport mechanisms are more complex, and besides
being simultaneous, they are strongly coupled. Indeed, most of the mathematical
models for heat and mass transports during baking are formulated with coupled
equations (this will be the focus in Chapter 7). The following discussion attempts
to be comprehensive in terms of products; however, it is worth noting that in the
case of thin products like biscuits, the described mechanisms have less relevance
than in thick products (e.g., breads and cakes) due to a small characteristic length
for heat and mass transfers, as the internal resistances to transport become negli-
gible (Sablani et al. 1998). This is of general application in the transport phenomena,
Heat and Mass Transfer during Baking 181

e.g., when the Biot number approaches zero (due to high thermal conductivity or
small characteristic length), the internal resistance to heat conduction is negligible.
Following,we firstly present representative data to quantitatively describe the bak-
ing process,including a short summary of the methods and the instruments used in
experimental tests. Secondly, we discuss the mechanisms of heat and mass trans-
ports from a phenomenological point of view as established in the introduction of
this chapter.

6.3.1 experiMental data

Temperature, moisture content, and weight loss are the most common measured
variables considering the product, as they are the dependent or the state variables
of the energy and mass balances established during baking. Temperature profiles
are obtained by using thermocouples or other temperature sensors connected to a
data acquisition device. In the case of surface temperature, since dough is not a solid
material at the beginning of baking and also suffers volume change, thermocouples
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are difficult to insert, so the infrared thermometer is an alternative (although special

attention should be taken considering the significant contribution of radiation in a
baking oven). The moisture content profiles of the products are generally obtained
by a destructive method: samples are baked for different times and sectioned to
determine the water content at different locations by drying until a constant weight.
The weight loss and the drying rate of products can be monitored by using load cells
inside the oven or by simply weighing the samples very fast (to minimize errors by
interrupting the process) outside the oven at different times. Another variable that
can be recorded is the thickness of the formed crust, especially for bread; the prob-
lem with this measurement is defining the crust zone. The crust can be character-
ized as the outer region with darker color, dehydrated, and with less porosity. In this
sense, different procedures can be applied, e.g., visual inspection and measurement
with a caliper, image processing. More details about these measurements can be
found in the cited references; other experimental tests related to transport properties
are available in other chapters of this book or in the literature (e.g., Baik et al. 2001).
Representative experimental profiles for the case of the conventional baking of
French bread are shown in Figures 6.3 through 6.6 (Purlis and Salvadori 2009a,
2010); similar results were obtained by different authors for the conventional bak-
ing of bread (e.g., Hasatani et al. 1991; Zanoni et al. 1993; Sommier et al. 2005) and
cake (e.g., Lostie et al. 2002; Sakin et al. 2007). Figure 6.3 depicts the temperature
profiles of the outer and inner zones of the bread during baking; the variation of oven
ambient temperature is included for reference. The temperature on the surface (outer
zone or crust) continuously increases with time, surpassing 100C and tending to
the oven ambient temperature (it is worth noting the setup profile or the nonsteady
regime of the oven due to experimental features). On the other hand, in the core
zone or the crumb, the temperature slowly rises in the beginning of baking but then
reaches 100C very rapidly. As can be seen, the inner profiles describe a sigmoid
trend with an asymptotic upper value of approximately 100C. Eventually, the zones
near the surface leave this plateau, and temperature rises again tending to the oven
ambient temperature, in a similar way as the surface temperature.
182 Advances in Heat Transfer Unit Operations

Temperature (C) 160
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Time (min)

FIGURE 6.3 Typical temperature profiles during bread baking (220C under forced con-
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vection). Key (different zones of the bread): surface (triangles), intermediate (squares), and
core (circles). The line corresponds to the oven ambient. (Reprinted from Food Research
International, 43, Purlis, E., and Salvadori, V. O., A moving boundary problem in a food
material undergoing volume changeSimulation of bread baking, 94958, Copyright (2010),
with permission from Elsevier.)

Water content (db)

0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Time (min)

FIGURE 6.4 Typical water content (kg water/kg dry matter) profiles during bread baking
(220C under forced convection). Key (different zones of the bread: surface (circles) and core
(triangles). The dash line corresponds to the initial water content (raw dough). (Reprinted
from Food Research International, 43, Purlis, E., and Salvadori, V. O., A moving boundary
problem in a food material undergoing volume changeSimulation of bread baking, 94958,
Copyright (2010), with permission from Elsevier.)
Heat and Mass Transfer during Baking 183

25 0.018

Drying rate (kg water/kg dry

20 0.014
Weight loss (%)


5 0.004
0 0
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Time (min)

FIGURE 6.5 Typical variation of weight loss (circles) and drying rate (triangles) of bread dur-
ing baking (220C under forced convection). (Reprinted from Journal of Food Engineering,
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91, Purlis, E., and Salvadori, V. O., Bread baking as a moving boundary problem: Part 1:
Mathematical modelling, 42833, Copyright (2009), with permission from Elsevier.)

Crust thickness (mm)

0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Time (min)

FIGURE 6.6 Enlargement of the bread crust (i.e., outer dry zone) during baking (220C
under forced convection). (Reprinted from Journal of Food Engineering, 91, Purlis, E., and
Salvadori, V. O., Bread baking as a moving boundary problem: Part 1: Mathematical model-
ling, 42833, Copyright (2009), with permission from Elsevier.)

The typical variation of water content during baking is shown in Figure 6.4. In
concordance with temperature profiles, two different behaviors can be distinguished.
The outer zones rapidly and continuously dehydrate to low values of moisture
(no steam injection was used in this case). On the other hand, the crumb does
not suffer dehydration, and conversely, the water content slightly increases with
respect to the initial value (dough). In the zones beneath the crust, the samples
are slightly dehydrated (results not shown). The relative increase in the moisture
184 Advances in Heat Transfer Unit Operations

content depends on the product and the procedure to measure this variation
(Wagner et al. 2007).
Figure 6.5 shows that weight loss is continuous during baking (30 min process),
and that a constant rate drying period is not found (or at least, is very short) as in the
drying of vegetables. In similar baking tests, Hasatani et al. (1991) observed that the
maximum drying rate is reached when the temperature of outer zones stop increas-
ing and remains at 100C.
Finally, the dehydration of the outer zones leads to the formation and the enlarge-
ment of the crust, as can be seen in Figure 6.6.
It is worth mentioning that the other results for the same experimental setup indi-
cate that more intense baking conditions (higher temperature and air velocity) pro-
duce similar profiles but with more pronounced trends, e.g., higher temperature and
lower water content in the outer zones, more weight loss, and thicker crust. Other
experimental data associated with heat and mass transfers are internal pressure and
volume change of the product during baking. An initial overpressure and expan-
sion were recorded for the traditional baking of French bread; after the oven rise,
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the internal pressure slightly decreased and a significant shrinkage was observed
(Sommier et al. 2005).

6.3.2 transport MeCHanisMs: pHenoMenologiCal Model

The objective of this section is to present a set of hypotheses to explain on a physical
basis the main phenomena observed in bakery products during baking: rapid heat-
ing without dehydration, and even a slight accumulation of water, in the core zone,
and formation of a dehydrated outer zone or crust, with different characteristics and
behavior with respect to the inner zones or the crumb. Such hypotheses represent-
ing the transport mechanisms can then be used to develop a mathematical model for
heat and mass transfers during baking. The simulation of the transport model and
the comparison between numerical and experimental results allow confirming or
refuting the proposed hypothesis and assessing the ability of the model to predict the
baking operation. Afterward, control, optimization, and design can be performed in
a systematic way, minimizing the use of empirical methodologies.
When the dough is placed in the baking oven, it begins the heating of the sur-
face or the boundary by conduction, convection, and radiation, as was previously
described. The resistance to heat transport from the oven ambient, represented by
the heat transfer coefficient, is demonstrated by the temperature profile of the sur-
face (Figure 6.3). Negligible resistance would be translated in an instantaneous rise
of the temperature and the same heating curve as the oven ambient (i.e., prescribed
temperature at boundary). If steam injection is used, the water vapor condensates on
the dough surface giving the latent heat of condensation and producing a more rapid
heating. On the other hand, due to the differences in moisture content between the
oven ambient and the dough, water evaporation on the surface begins; in the case
of using steam injection, this process is delayed. Note that dehydration implies the
absorption of latent heat of vaporization. In consequence, the driving forces for heat
and mass transfers inside the product are established at the beginning of the process:
high temperature and low water content at the boundary or on the surface layers and
Heat and Mass Transfer during Baking 185

low temperature and relatively high moisture content beneath the surface (initial
Heat transfer by conduction occurs toward the core by the established thermal
gradient. However, conduction is not the major heat transport mechanism in bak-
ing. Sluimer and Krist-Spit (1987) performed a series of experiments that showed
the importance of the gaseous phase in the heat transport in dough: the tempera-
ture increase in the fermented dough is faster than that in the gas-free dough.
This phenomenon cannot be explained by heat conduction, since a porous material
has a lower value of thermal conductivity than a nonporous sample of the same
material due to the presence of air. In addition, they registered an increase in
the water content of the bread crumb at the end of baking. Therefore, the authors
proposed the principle of Watt (heat pipe) or evaporationcondensation to explain
the rapid heating of the fermented dough (i.e., porous material with significant
water content). This (former) hypothesis establishes that water is evaporated at the
warmer side of a pore or a cell, absorbing the latent heat of vaporization. Then,
due to the concentration gradient, the water vapor diffuses in the gas phase toward
Advances in Heat Transfer Unit Operations

the colder side of the pore, where it condensates setting free its latent heat. Heat
and liquid water migrate by conduction and diffusion, respectively, through the
solid phase (pore wall) toward the next pore. This process is repeated according to
thermal and concentration gradients, and it continues until the crumb temperature
achieves 100C. Note that this principle is not a transport mechanism but a series
of transport phenomena. The importance of this hypothesis and the corresponding
experimental evidence is the relevance of the water vapor transport and the phase
change in baking.
Considering the dough as a humid porous material, both liquid water and water
vapor have to be considered. The initial heating of the dough surface increases the
water vapor pressure in the porous structure. As the oven ambient and the inner
zones of the dough present lower values of water vapor pressure, a simultaneous
transport toward the surface (and then to the oven ambient) and the core starts. The
first leads to the formation of a dehydrated surface layer called crust. Due to low
moisture content, water evaporation is not significant, and the energy previously used
in vaporization is now utilized to continuously increase the temperature of the crust.
On the other hand, water vapor migrates toward the core of the dough where the tem-
perature (and the water vapor pressure) is lower. This vapor transport is accompanied
by successive condensationevaporation (phase change) of water, giving and absorb-
ing the latent heat, respectively. In addition to conduction and phase change, heat
transport by convection (water vapor as the moving fluid) may be considered as well.
Therefore, the temperature increase is faster than considering conduction as the only
heat transport mechanism, and the water content rises due to the condensation of the
vapor in the colder zones. Vapor transport may occur by molecular diffusion (vapor
in air) and by pressure-driven flow (Darcy flow). On the other hand, as the moisture
content of the surface is lower than that in the core zone, a concentration gradient of
liquid water is also established. Liquid water transport in a porous material occurs by
pressure-driven flow and capillary flow. However, the evaporation rate in the outer
zones is faster than the liquid water migration toward the surface; this explains the
progressive enlargement of the crust.
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As baking proceeds, the internal temperature approaches 100C, and a pseudo-

steady state is achieved because of the diminution of the water vapor pressure gra-
dient. Evaporation is concentrated beneath the crust, and this zone is often named
as the evaporation front. All these heat and mass transfer processes are responsible
for the typical temperature and water content profiles described before, as well as for
weight loss, drying rate, and crust thickness variations. Besides, the evolution and
the distribution of the temperature and the moisture content in the product allow the
initiation and the advancement of chemical reactions related to sensory attributes, e.g.,
starch gelatinization and browning reactions. Similarly, the generation and the thermal
expansion of carbon dioxide (and water vapor) produce the mentioned oven rise. Once
the structure becomes more rigid due to starch gelatinization and protein denaturation,
the expansion is ended, and eventually, a slight shrinkage occurs due to the final set
of the crust (Sommier et al. 2005). It is worth noting that as well as heat and mass
transfers affect the volume change of the product, expansion and shrinkage modify the
thermal and concentration gradients since the characteristic length is altered.
In the case of baking in microwave ovens, heat is directly absorbed by the water
Advances in Heat Transfer Unit Operations

molecules, so an internal heat generation takes place. Depending on the spatial dis-
tribution of energy, different gradients and fluxes will be established according to
the transport phenomena previously discussed. Finally, a schematic representation
of the presented phenomenological model is given in Figure 6.7. This qualitative


psat P



n1 n1
nv ng
ng ng

FIGURE 6.7 Schematic representation of the water content (X), the total pressure (P), the
temperature (T), and the partial water vapor pressure (pv) (also broken down into water activ-
ity, aw, and saturating vapor pressure, psat) profiles of the cake during baking periods. On the
left, the beginning of the heating period; at the center, end of the heating period; on the right,
crust and crumb period. Key: , conductive heat flux; nl, diffusive liquid water flux; nv, dif-
fusive water vapor flux; ng, convective gaseous phase flux. The vertical dash line indicates the
position of the evaporation front. (Reprinted from Journal of Food Engineering, 51, Lostie,
M., Peczalski, R., Andrieu, J., and Laurent, M., Study of sponge cake batter baking process:
Part I: Experimental data, 1317, Copyright (2002), with permission from Elsevier.)
Heat and Mass Transfer during Baking 187

interpretation of the internal profiles and their evolution was reported by Lostie
etal. (2002) for the case of cake baking. These authors divided the baking process
into two periods: heating and crust and crumb. The former corresponds to the setting
of energy and mass gradients and the formation of the crust, while the latter accounts
for the pseudo-steady state described before where the enlargement of crust and the
development of the final attributes are the main phenomena.


This chapter discusses heat and mass transfers during baking from a phenomenologi-
cal perspective. The transport phenomena in the oven ambient and inside the product
are complex, since they are simultaneous and coupled. In addition, the porous struc-
ture and the water content of the dough determine the importance of the gas phase in
transport mechanisms. In the baking oven, radiation is the major heating mode but
is the most difficult to control. In this way, the common practice is to adjust the flow
characteristics by the use of fans in the baking chamber to control the convective
Advances in Heat Transfer Unit Operations

contribution, bearing in mind that forced convection influences both heat and mass
transfers. With regard to the product, the phase change of water (i.e., evaporation and
condensation) and the transport mechanisms in the vapor phase play a major role for
heat and mass transfers. In conclusion, it is essential to study the involved transport
mechanisms and the corresponding resistances to heat and mass transfers in con-
junction with the chemical and physical changes producing the sensory attributes
valuable for the consumers. This methodology is the more efficient way to control,
optimize, and design the baking operation, including both baking equipment and
product development.

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