Infrared Heating for Food

Infrared is a type of energy source that’s commonly found in nature. Infrared heating utilizes radiative and conductive heat transfer mechanisms to generate and transfer heat. The IR radiation does not penetrate deeply and heats only a few millimeters below the surface of foods. The absorbed energy can then be conducted to other areas within the food.

Infrared is part of the electromagnetic spectrum that is located between the visible region and microwaves, and its wavelength ranges from 0.5 to 100 µm.

Infrared heating provides significant advantages over conventional heating, including reduced heating time, uniform heating, reduced quality losses, absence of solute migration in food material, versatile, simple, and compact equipment, and significant energy saving.

Infrared heating was first used industrially in the 1930s for automotive curing applications and rapidly became utilized in the manufacturing and the electronics industry.

Infrared heating can be applied to various food processing operations, namely, drying, baking, roasting, blanching, pasteurization, browning meats and other foods, and sterilization.

Infrared heaters can be powered by electricity, natural gas, or propane. Different heaters will have different maximum output levels, different controls, and different designs. The efficiency of an infrared equipment mainly depends on the type of heat source used. The emitter determines the color of light, process emission wavelength, process temperature, and power density.
Infrared Heating for Food

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