Flow and Physical Properties of Dry and Moist Cornmeal Powder
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Cornmeal powder is used in the food industry to manufacture a variety of food products. The knowledge of its flow behavior and physical properties is critical for efficient design of storage and handling processes. Factors affecting powder flowability are moisture content and the presence of conditioners. The main goal of this study was to quantify the effect of moisture content and addition of a conditioner, on the flow properties of cornmeal powder. Flow characterization based on standard physical properties is not always accurate and needs to be complimented with the measurement of other properties. The flow properties of the cornmeal powder at different moisture content levels and concentrations of conditioner were measured. The moisture content at which the cornmeal was tested varied as 10.0%, 13.5% 17.0%, and 20.0% wet basis. The concentration of the conditioner, calcium stearate (caking agent classified at GRAS) was varied as 0.00%, 0.50%, 0.75%, and 1.00% wt/wt. The optimum flow behavior characteristics of cornmeal powder were achieved at 0.50% wt/wt calcium stearate and 10.0% (w.b.) moisture content based on the flow function test. Overall, the sample flowability decreased with increase in moisture content which was characterized by the high values for Hausner’s Ratio, Carr’s Index, and angle of repose. The value of flow index (ffc) obtained by the flow function test decreased from 6.47 to 3.82 with increasing moisture content indicating cohesive behavior of the cornmeal powder. Calcium stearate increased the flowability of cornmeal powder at 0.50% wt/wt, beyond which, the flowability was not affected significantly. Hygroscopicity of the samples was found to be in Class IV which means that the samples were very hygroscopic. The correlation coefficient for Hausner’s ratio, Carr’s Index, and angle of repose were 0.91, 0.88, and 0.88, respectively, which showed a strong linear relationship with flow index that can be used to relate to the flowability of the cornmeal powder.
Chinwan, Dipanshu (2018). Flow and Physical Properties of Dry and Moist Cornmeal Powder. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from