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Title: Innovation in cannon puffing technology for the homogenization of bulk treatment: Half-popped purple corn, a new healthy snack
Authors: Rajha, Hiba N.
Debs, Esperance 
Abi Rached, Rita
El Khoury, Karl
Al-Kazzi, Mona
Mrad, Rachelle
Louka, Nicolas
Affiliations: Department of Biology 
Issue Date: 2021
Part of: Journal of food Process Engineering
Volume: 44
Issue: 6
A new innovative cannon puffing technology, called Vac-Can-Puff (VCP), consisting of a puffing gun connected to a vacuum pump, was conceived for the production of half-popped purple corn snacks. This newly designed system was used to achieve a homogenized expansion of corn kernels in bulk. After selecting the soaking, puffing, and roasting methods, response surface methodology (RSM) was used to optimize the response variables: expansion ratio (ER) and general appreciation (GA) of kernels. It aimed at investigating the effects of puffing parameters: pressure of the steam injected (P), treatment time (T), and initial water content of the kernels (W). The central composite design resulted in an empirical model suggesting the following optima: P = 7.7 × 105 Pa, T = 14 s, and W = 32.8%, which are required to maximize desirability of the half-popped kernels. The response parameters obtained under optimal conditions were 2.18 and 4.2 for ER and GA, respectively. Practical Applications: Establishing an initial vacuum prior to steam injection in a puffing cannon, allowed to bring a solution to a long-term issue related to the nonhomogeneous treatment in bulk. Whenever a thick layer of product is loaded in the cannon, a heterogeneous distribution of injected steam within the mass occurs, resulting in a dissimilarly expanded end product. Upon coupling the vacuum to the puffing cannon, the product then obtained is uniformly processed, with a well monitored expansion ratio. Half-popped corn kernels resulting from treatment with Vac-Can-Puff (VCP) exhibited high organoleptic qualities in terms of taste, expansion ratio and desirability, without the use of any additives. Moreover, such products have the potential to be shaped as cakes, bars, or even associated with other products or flavors. Vac-Can-Puff is a manageable process since it does not require high technicality, and easy to implement in developing countries due to its low-cost investment, operating and maintenance.
ISSN: 01458876
DOI: 10.1111/jfpe.13695
Ezproxy URL: Link to full text
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Department of Biology

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