Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Ampere 2019

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Saeedeh Taheri, Graham Ian Brodie, Dorin Gupta

Last modified: 11-10-2019


Lentil is one of the important pulse crops in the world with a high proportion of easily digestible protein. However, there are several pests and pathogens which cause losses during crop growth, harvesting and post-harvest storage. Microwave processing has shown great potential to eradicate pests and pathogens from grains; however, there is still concerns about its heat uniformity, which is of crucial importance in pest and pathogen control. Fluidization using forced hot air is one of the potential solutions for having uniform temperature during microwave processing.

In this study, a single mode microwave cavity, with a 2.45 GHz microwave source, was modified to have a microwave fluidized bed and used to evaluate its potential to eliminate the Botrytis grey mold (BGM) pathogen, which is one of the important seed-borne pathogens of lentil crops in Australia. Air speed was maintained to be constant during the experiment and was just enough to fluidize 100g of red lentils in the sample holder. Two wet based (w.b.) seed moisture contents (m.c.) of 10.5% and 18.5% were prepared and the process parameters were selected as: air temperature at 50 and 60°C; microwave power at 0, 300, 400 W for 18.5% m.c. and 0, 400, 500 W for 10.5% m.c.; and exposure times of 5 and 10 min. These parameters were chosen to reach the final temperature of below 70°C. The effect of process parameters on seed moisture loss, seed germination, electrical conductivity of seed soaking water and percentage of infected seeds (IS%) were analyzed using general factorial regression and analysis of variance.

The results showed that the most effective factors on moisture loss, after seed moisture content, was exposure time, followed by microwave power and air temperature. While final bed temperature was affected mostly by air temperature, and then by microwave power. Furthermore, based on general full factorial regression and pareto chart of standardized effects, moisture content had by far the most influence on the reduction of IS%. Seed pathogen inoculum reduction, without significant seed viability loss, was obtained by applying microwave power of 300W and set air temperature of 60°C (actual inlet air temperature of 57±1°C) on seeds with m.c. of 18.5% for 10 min. This gave a 27% reduction in IS% (from 82% to 55%).


lentil; microwave fluidized bed; seedborne; Botrytis grey mold

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