An ultrasonic noncontact method to monitor the doneness of bakery products

Chimenti, D. E.; Faeth, L.
May 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 509 Issue 1, p1849
Academic Journal
The paper describes a method using ultrasonics and fluid dynamics to assess the state of “doneness” of bakery products, such as bread loaves, online and in situ. The problem in the baking industry is that bread doneness determined by time and temperature can be inaccurate, leaving some product underbaked. We describe a noncontact method using air-pulse excitation and air-coupled ultrasonic motion sensing to infer the state of doneness of the baking loaf while still in the oven and on a moving belt. The ultrasonic sensor operates at 100 kHz using a toneburst excitation and pitch-catch transducer geometry. The problem is one of detecting small (50 micron) movements in the loaf, whose position may vary up to several mm. Further, the loaf movements caused by the air-pulse excitation are rapid (20 to 50 msec). We present a signal-processing system, incorporating a boxcar integrator, that functions as a pulsed, time-domain acoustic interferometer. This instrument is capable of both the high time and spatial resolution essential for the successful operation of the instrument. We estimate a spatial resolution of 30 micron and a temporal resolution of 5 msec, using 100 kHz acoustic waves. The results of numerous in-oven measurements on one-pound bread loaves during the bake cycle will be presented to illustrate the performance of the instrument. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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