Chapter 9: Developing Food Structure for Mechanical Performance
Published:17 Oct 2019
I. K. Mohammed, C. G. Skamniotis, and M. N. Charalambides, in Handbook of Food Structure Development, ed. F. Spyropoulos, A. Lazidis, and I. Norton, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019, ch. 9, pp. 199-224.
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Food materials are complex biopolymers with heterogeneous microstructures and nonlinear large strain rheological behavior. There is a need to determine how these materials behave during both industrial processing such as extrusion, sheeting, cutting, as well as during the oral and gastric processes. Specifically, design tools are needed that can be used to optimize the mechanical performance of food products by considering the structure of the food at the various length scales and the mechanical responses of the constituent phases at the appropriate time scales. This chapter summarizes literature findings that focus on determining the link between the structure and bulk behavior of soft solid foods. It specifically studies foods that can be classed as particulate composites and gels, cellular solid foams, and short fiber-reinforced foods. It is evident that this topic is still a very active research field. Results so far look promising, enabled through recent advances in both experimental equipment and computational power. However, challenges still remain, such as the development and calibration of multiscale models of complex composite food structures that take into account the dynamic changes in the food's structure and its response to simultaneous mechanical, physical, and chemical stimuli encountered during processing.