of Food Engineering8 (1988) 247-272

An Experimental Study of Screw Configuration Effects in
the Twin-Screw Extrusion-Cooking of Maize Grits
A. R. Kirby, A.-L. Ollett, R. Parker & A. C. Smith
AFRC Institute of Food Research, Norwich Laboratory,

Colney Lane, Norwich

(Received 10 July 1988; revised version received 10 August 1988;
accepted 7 November 1988)

The effects of screw configuration on the product properties, die pressure
and screw torque in the twin-screw extrusion-cooking of maize grits is
described. Extrudate bulk density, water solubihty and water absorption
were measured for a set range of extrusion moisture contents and barrel
temperaturesfor each of four screw configurations of diflerent conveying
ft is shown that screw configuration is a potent variable in determining
product properties. The variation in water solubility with specific
mechanical energy input conforms to Meuser’s model. The screw configuration controls the specific mechanical energy input range. Screw configurations of low conveying e#iciency give rise to low-viscositymelts
which expand into low-bulk-density products. Dead-stopped runs
showed that the conveying ejiciency controls the degree of fill in the
extruder barrel. TypicalLy,the mean residence time was increased from 56
to 94 s by decreasing the conveying eficiency of the screws.






Fractional moisture content (wet weight basis)
Mass hold-up (g )
Die pressure (MPa)
Mass flow-rate (g s- l)
Mean residence time (s)
Torque (N m)
Bulk density (g cme3)
of Food



Publishers Ltd, England. Printed in Great Britain

- Q





A. R. Kirby, A.-L. Ollett, R. Parker, A. C. Smith

The modern twin-screw extrusion cooker is a versatile piece of foodprocessing machinery with many process variables which can be
optimised to achieve the required product. The full development of
technology requires an understanding of how these
process variables affect the thermomechanical
transformation of feed
materials into the final product. The early studies of the extrusion
processing of starchy materials concentrated
on the effects of the
physico-chemical variables of temperature and extrusion moisture content on the product properties (Anderson et al., 1969, 1970; Mercier &
Feillet, 1975).
More recent work reflects a growing awareness of the importance of
variables which control the mechanical history and residence time of the
material, such as screw speed, feed-rate and die geometry (van
Zuilichem et al., 1975; Owusu-Ansah et al., 1983; Meuser et al., 1984).
Detailed characterisation of the composition of extrusion-cooked cereal
starches has shown that they have undergone macromolecular degradation during the extrusion process (Colonna & Mercier, 1983). This is
reflected in changes in melt rheology (Vergnes & Villemaire, 1987) and
the functional properties of the product, such as water solubility (Fitton,
1986), water absorption and dispersion viscosity (Doublier et al., 1986).
A major step forward in understanding the relationship between product
properties and process variables was the macroscopic model of Meuser
et al. (1984). In this model, the water solubility index is found to be
simply related to the specific mechanical energy input and the temperature of the dough at the dies of the extruder. Some initial steps have been
taken to produce more sophisticated models based upon an understanding of transport processes within the extruder (Della Valle et al., 1987).
However, as yet, these have not progressed sufficiently to predict microstructural changes and overall mechanical energy input from fundamental principles.
Many twin-screw extruders have composite screws which can be built
up from different types of conveying and mixing elements. In comparison with the process variables already mentioned, there have been
relatively few studies of the effects of screw configuration upon product
properties. Seiler et al. (1980) found that there was a change in specific
volume of extruded maize grits when the reverse pitch element of a
Clextral BC-45 was displaced from its normal position at the end of the
screw. Olkku ( 198 1) reported that on replacing a conveying element with
a reverse pitch element in the BC-45, the result was an increased die
temperature and motor current and a product of greater solubility. In

1983) it was concluded that the inclusion of the reverse pitch element in the screw configuration resulted in a greater ‘severity of treatment’. which leads to a positive pumping action. Reverse pitch elements which give a negative or backward pumping action are an extreme source of low conveying efficiency. In a study of the dispersion rheology of maize grits extruded by a Baker-Perkins MPFSOD. since this determines the fill of the extruder barrel and hence the mean residence time and the total deformation which the processed material receives. 1978). In this present study the extruder is operated in starved feed mode and screw configurations are compared under conditions of identical screw speed and feed-rate. In a study of the inactivation of enzymes by extrusion. Hakulin et al. . The various elements are used in combination to achieve the required fill in the extruder barrel. An increase in the number of flights on the screws and in the length of their pitch are other factors which can increase the conveying efficiency of the screws. High conveying efficiency is achieved with closely inter-meshing flights with small leakage gaps. low conveying efficiency can be achieved with poorly intermeshing flights or large leakage gaps which result in a weak pumping action. Intermeshing flights can be slotted to increase mixing and to weaken the pumping action. Brenner et al. Screw configuration has proved a useful variable in biotechnological applications of twin-screw extruders. (1986) found that inclusion of mixing paddles in the screw configuration resulted in a greater dispersion viscosity at ambient temperatures. Conveying efficiency cannot be precisely defined and hence cannot be accurately quantified. (1986) showed that by the inclusion of two reverse pitch zones the mean residence time in the extruder could be increased from 16 to 30 s under otherwise identical conditions. It is determined by the geometry of the elements. Meuser et al. A major difference between the element types and the different composite screw configurations is their ‘conveying efficiency’.. Conversely. Fretzdorff & Seiler (1987) used reverse pitch elements to produce ‘more intensive extrusion conditions’. Using a Werner & Pfleiderer Continua 37.Extrusion cooking of maize grits 249 further studies on rye and barley (Olkku et al. (1983) have described how starch gelatinisation and solubilisation and mixing of enzymes can be achieved by the appropriate positioning of reverse pitch and mixing elements. Individual mixing paddles have no conveying effect though they can be arranged in sections with relative orientations to give a weakly forward or backward pumping action. Geometrical constraints mean that the extruders with co-rotating screws cannot have as strongly positive a pumping action as the counter-rotating screw extruders (Janssen.

to study the differences in the degree of filling of the extruder barrel. water absorption and bulk density.. The index is found to correlate with dispersion viscosities measured at ambient temperatures. Kirby. Their use is justified at the practical level in that they readily yield the ‘degree of cook’ without requiring time-consuming biochemical extraction. Two extrusion runs with operating conditions which differed only in their screw configurations were dead-stopped. solids feedrate and screw speed were kept constant. The water absorption passes through a maximum which coincides with essentially complete particle disruption and the gelatinisation and disruption of the constituent maize starch granules. Parker. The extruder die size. The use of water solubility and water absorption measurements. Microstructural studies have revealed that with increasing severity of treatment there is an initial increase in water absorption which is related to the proportion of gelatinised material in the product (OlIett et al. ( 1983) but their ‘second transition section’ is here termed ‘melt pumping region’).-L. A. A. requires some comment. Smith In this investigation the effect of the interaction between screw configuration.R. As the water solubility increases there is a linear decrease in intrinsic viscosity which reflects a decrease in the average molecular weight of the amylose and amylopectin chains. 1984). . which are not fundamental structural characteristics of the material. submitted). 1985). isolation and characterisation of complex mixtures. Studies of the properties of extruded starches have revealed that there is a linear correlation between water solubility and intrinsic viscosity (Fitton. A highly instrumented twin-screw extruder which allowed die pressure and torque to be logged was used (Fletcher et al. extrusion moisture content and barrel temperature on product properties has been studied. The degree of fill was quantified and the extent of the solids conveying and melt pumping regions noted (these regions were identified by Colonna et al. The product was characterised in terms of its water solubility. 1983). Intrinsic viscosity has commonly been used to give a measure of macromolecular degradation in extruded starches (Colonna & Mercier.. a material with a greater structural complexity than the pure starches commonly used in fundamental studies on extrusion-cooking.250 A. This allowed Meuser’s model of starch modification to be tested for a more complex starchy material (Meuser et al. The feed material in this study was maize grits.. 1986). Recent work by Mason & Hoseney ( 1986) indicates that the water absorption index gives a measure of the volume of swollen gelled particles which maintain their integrity in aqueous dispersion. Ollett. R. This means that water solubility can be regarded as an index of the degree of macromolecular degradation in these systems. C. It is useful in fundamental studies since for linear polymers it can be directly related to average molecular weight.

The self-wiping elements have a lower melt pumping efficiency than the closely intermeshing single-start elements. A section through the extruder is shown in Fig. The water inlet was 110 mm downstream from the centre of the feed port. Two circular 3-O mm diameter dies were fitted in the die plate. fed by a KTRON loss-in-weight feeder was used in this study. 1. 2 and Table 1. The four screw configurations built up from combinations of screw conveying elements and lobe-shaped mixing paddles are sketched in Fig. The moisture content was adjusted by pumping water into the barrel by a Watson-Marlow 501 peristaltic pump.5 in 3 x 30” (forwarding) mixing paddles 2 in single-start i in pitch screws 1. The axes of the mixing paddles were orientated mutually at 30” with a forwarding action. twin-screw extruder. The centre of the feed port is at a point 77 mm from the drive end of the screws. which have a more positive conveying action. The barrel temperature was controlled in five separate zones by Eurotherm controllers. co-rotating.Extrusion cooking of maize grits 251 EXPERIMENTAL A Baker-Perkins MPFSOD.5 in 3 x 30” (forwarding) mixing paddles 2 in twin-start 1 in pitch self-wiping screws . which are microprocessor controllers using PID (proporTABLE 1 Screw Configurations Configuration A Configuration B 12 in twin-start 1 in pitch self-wiping screws 4 in twin-start $ in pitch self-wiping screws 13 in single-start i in pitch screws 8 in twin-start 1 in pitch self-wiping screws 2 in twin-start 4 in pitch self-wiping screws 4 in 8 x 30” (forwarding) mixing paddles 13 in single-start i in pitch screws 2 in twin-start 1 in pitch self-wiping screws Configuration C Configuration D 8 in twin-start 1 in pitch self-wiping screws 2 in twin-start f in pitch self-wiping screws 4 in 8 x 30” (forwarding) mixing paddles 6 in single-start f in pitch screws 2 in 4 X 30” (forwarding) mixing paddles 3 in single-start $ in pitch screws 2 in 4 X 30” (forwarding) mixing paddles 2 in twin-start 1 in pitch self-wiping screws 8 in twin-start 1 in pitch self-wiping screws 2 in twin-start f in pitch self-wiping screws 4 in 8 x 30” (forwarding) mixing paddles 3 in single-start fin pitch screws 4 in 8 x 30” (forwarding) mixing paddles 1 in single-start fin pitch screws 1.

C. Smith \ T- \ 1 b . Parker. R. A.252 A. Kirby. A. Ollett. R.-L.

Element types are listed in Table 1 tional.. Sunnyvale. UK. 1984).7%. The ‘clam-shell’ design of the barrel allowed it to be split horizontally for the rapid removal of samples.7% (wet wt basis) as determined using the AACC method 44-l 5A (AACC. West Sussex. Worthing. a lipid content of 0. The die pressure was measured with a Gentran model GT75K3M pressure probe. USA. Materials The feed material was a single batch of degermed maize grits. This was calibrated by the machine manufacturers. an ‘extra fine snack’ grade supplied by Pauls Agriculture Ltd. . 2. Prior to extrusion this had a moisture content of 11. integral. which senses the pressure by transmitting the deflection of a metal diaphragm to a strain gauge via a metal rod. The probe was mounted in the die plate at a point 21 mm from the end of the screws. derivative) control terms supplied by Eurotherm Ltd. ioo 200 Screw configurations 300 400 so0 600 700 A-D. Hull.8% and a protein content of 9. The torque on the screws was determined from the current in the armature of the motor (dc motor theory states that torque is proportional to armature current when power losses are neglected). supplied by Gentran Inc. The process variables were all logged by a Vector Graphics 2 microcomputer on floppy disc. California. Each zone is heated by four cartridge heaters and cooled by circulating refrigerant.253 Extrusion cooking of maize grits c D scale (mm) 0 Fig.

130 and 150°C.-L. 20. The indices are defined by WAI= WSI (%) = The reported ments each.5 g sample was dispersed in 25. weight of sediment weight of dry solids weight of dissolved solids in supernatant weight of dry solids x 100 WA1 and WSI values were the averages of two measure- . A. R. Extrudate properties The water-solubility index (WSI) and water-absorption index (WAI) were measured by the method of Anderson et al. R. The supematant was decanted for determination of its solids content and the sediment was weighed to determine the WAI. TABLE2 Temperatures of the Extruder Barrel Sections (“C) Final zone temperature (“C) Heating zone0 2 3 4 5 6 90 II0 130 150 27 48 69 90 90 27 55 83 110 110 27 61 96 130 130 27 68 109 150 150 “The extents of the heating zones are shown in Fig.254 A. The extrudates were first milled to a mean particle size of approximately 1 SO-250 pm. Ollett. After stirring for 30 min. 22 and 24% and the temperature of the final two zones of the barrel were controlled at 90.0 g of distilled water. A. 1.I. (1969). made up to 32. taking special care to break up any lumps using a glass rod. 110. Kirby. = 18.’ and a screw speed of 200 rev rnir. The moisture content and barrel temperature were varied in the 4 x 4 factorial experimental design with moisture content m. Smith Operating conditions Throughout these experiments the extruder was operated in starved feed mode with a constant solids feed-rate of 25.5 g and then centrifuged at 3000 g for 10 min. the dispersions are rinsed into tared centrifuge tubes. The four temperature profiles are shown in Table 2. Parker. C.0 kg h. A 2.

as it enables the calculation of the mean residence time in any zone of the extruder. The diameters are the means of 10 random measurements made with vernier callipers.. The weight per unit length was determined by weighing measured lengths (about 0. samples were allowed to equilibrate with the laboratory atmosphere over a 6-day period to bring them to a common moisture content. The volume of each zone occupied by the moist material was calculated from the weight of material. using an assumed density of 1.Extrusion cooking of maize grits 255 The bulk density of the extrudates was calculated from the mean diameter and weight per unit length by assuming that they were perfectly cylindrical in shape. The mean residence time is obtained by performing a mass balance on any particular zone. This was converted to a fractional fill by dividing by the volume accessible to the material. RESULTS Figure 3 shows the bulk densities of the extrudates for screw configurations A-D. Dead-stopped runs The horizontal split design of the Baker-Perkins MPFSOD allows the collection of all the material present in the barrel.43 g cme3 (Haine et al. Since the extruder is operated in starved feed mode there is a constant flow-rate of material passing through any zone of the extruder..0%. assuming that the extruder is operating in steady state and there is no fouling.30 m) of extrudate and taking the mean value of 10 measurements. 1985). This is particularly useful. The volume of material from the fully filled sections showed that the accuracy of the measurement of the magnitude of the fill was better than + 5. The volume accessible was determined by a combination of water displacement of the screw elements and geometrical measurements on the empty barrel and a casting of the volume enclosed within the die block. then the mean residence time in that zone is To avoid problems from differential drying of samples during sample collection. the moisture content of all samples was determined and all weights were converted to the weight of dry solids. The general trend is for lower bulk densities at lower extru- . Prior to measurement. If the mass hold-up in a zone is M and the mass flow-rate is Q.

A. R. The extrudates appear to be approaching a low density limit of about 0. A feature of this figure and many subsequent ones is the existence of a more-or-less sharp change in product property over a small temperature increment. Parker. A. 3. . l. 90°C. R.2- 1. C. higher barrel temperatures and lower conveying efficiency of the screws. n. A) 130°C. This change corresponds to the complete disruption of the maize particles and gelatinisation of their constituent starch granules. This is particularly prominent for configurations A and B over the 20°C between 130 and 150°C.-L.2- C D la- 19 - W- GE- iw_ Y Q iw_ Q o-4 W- 02 02 id Fig.A. Ollett. Bulk density of extrudates produced at different extrusion moisture contents and barrel temperatures using screw configurations A-D.10 g cm. Kirby. sion moisture contents. 150°C.110”c. Smith 256 1*2r l.3. Barrel temperature: l.

. After the transition the homogeneous melt puffs into a wellexpanded.18 020 o-22 0. Water-solubility index of extrudates produced at different extrusion moisture contents and barrel temperatures using screw configurations A-D. There is a strong interaction between the temperature at which this transition occurs and the screw configuration. 90°C.24 0- 0. Fig. 150°C. For configuration A . Barrel temperature: l. 1 022 I 0. relatively high-bulk-density extrudate results.the configuration with- 80- 80- A n SO- SO- 3 B \ 40 - n \ ‘\rn z S3Q- 20- 10 O? ’ 048 I 0. m.. submitted). 0. M- 20 10 - 10 1 oc ’ 018 1 D20 m. At low temperatures.257 Extrusion cooking of maize grits and is described in more detail elsewhere (Ollett et al. low-density foam with p GO. A .20 1 0.24 m.24 O- m.130”C. the maize particles are not fully disrupted and a poorly expanded. 110°C. before the transition.22 1 0.25 g cme3. 4. n.

. l. For configuration A the WA1 remains approximately constant at about 5-O at temperatures less than 150°C and is independent of extrusion moisture content. The change in WA1 for configuration B shows some similarities to that for A in that at temperatures below 150°C there c I A 6. The change in solubility after the transition is best illustrated by configuration D (Fig. The change in water absorption index is more complex. n.20 022 OQ4 m. t &$+= 3 4. At low temperatures. the WSI is less than 30% and increases with barrel temperature. Ollett. Smith 258 out any mixing paddles . 5. 130°C. A. C. The water-solubility and water-absorption results are shown in Figs 4 and 5. A .22 024 m. 150°C.l 10°C.-L. At 150°C there is a sharp increase in WA1 to a value of 6-O+ 0. R.0 3. before the transition. Kirby. Water-absorption index of extrudates produced at different extrusion moisture contents and barrel temperatures using screw configurations A-D.A.0 5. R.0 /---.2.0 z B 6. 4).the transition occurs between 130 and 150°C whereas for configuration D it is between 90 and 110°C. 2QL 046 0. Parker. 90°C. Barrel temperature: l. The solubility increases linearly with barrel temperature and decreases linearly with extrusion moisture content. A.0 I 2QI 018 020 0. Fig. From A to D there is a trend towards increased solubilities.

0 and then falls as the temperature is increased.Extrusion cooking of maize grits 259 are only small changes with barrel temperature and extrusion moisture content. At the highest moisture contents the WA1 rises to a maximum of about 6. Figures 6 and 7 show the torque on the extruder screws and the pressure drop across the extruder die-plate. By comparing the water solubilities in Fig. For configurations C and D the changes in WA1 with moisture content and temperature are quite similar. . 0. At low moisture contents the WA1 decreases approximately linearly with increasing barrel temperature to a minimum value of about 3-O. 110°C. 6 it can be seen that there is A \ \. at 150°C there is a decrease in WA1 at the lower moisture contents. Barrel temperature: l. m. 150°C. 6. Fig. However. 130°C. A. The moisture level interacts strongly with temperature in affecting the WAI. 90°C. 4 with the torque in Fig. Torque on the extruder screws for extrusion at different extrusion moisture contents and barrel temperatures for screw configurations A-D. oa 020 022 094 m.

The effect of temperature depends on whether the material has been transformed.-L. when the disruption of grit particles results in a more homogeneous melt. R. 150°C. 7. 110°C. R. Kirby. whether there are maize particles in the melt. or not. lO- 8- C 10 - D a- '6- Fig. Parker. 90°C. m. =. A. 0. after transformation. Ollett. Taking the results as a whole. that is. However. 130°C. A . Barrel temperature: l. Smith 260 lO- 8- 01 0. With the lower . A. Die pressure for extrusion at different moisture contents and barrel temperatures for screw configurations A-D.18 om 022 024 m. the torque initially decreases with increasing temperature. In all these results the effect of decreasing moisture content is to increase the torque on the screws.A. there is a tendency towards greater torque as the conveying efficiency of the screws decreases from A to D. For configuration A at low temperatures. C. there is an increase in torque. broadly the same variation with moisture content and temperature.

The grits particle disruption coincides with a drop in die pressure. barrel temperature llO”C. 2 and Table 1 for the details of the screw configurations). the torque rises to 245 N m at a barrel temperature of 130°C and then falls to 235 N m at a barrel temperature of 150°C. The screw configurations were A and D and other conditions were identical with a barrel temperature of 110°C and a moisture content of 18%. Figure 8 shows the distribution of fill for two dead-stopped runs. . screw configurations A and D. and mean residence times for dead-stopped runs. In going from configuration A to D there is a shift to lower die pressures. 7 vary in a relatively simple way. The die pressures in Fig. Extrusion moisture content 18%.261 Extrusion cooking of maize grits conveying-efficiency configurations C and D the transition occurs at lower temperatures and so the behaviour with a homogeneous melt can be seen. 8. With increasing barrel temperature the torque shows a weak maximum. The lOO- A 60- 2 gm MMnlimehzone(s) LA 4020-1112222222222234 04 lOO- S~--c ' 1 ' 11 1 60- Mean tii in zons -6o40- 1 I I 1 D 3 . The die pressure consistently drops with increased extrusion moisture content and barrel temperature.18. for configuration D at a moisture content of 0.E 1 111123 3 4 (8) 5 6 5 5 5 19 Fig. A schematic representation of each screw configuration is incorporated in each diagram to indicate the position of the zones relative to the extruder screws (see Fig. For example. Distribution of fill.

and about 25% filled for configuration D. Parker. In the solids conveying region the barrel is about 10% filled for configuration A. respectively. A large proportion of the time is spent in the die region beyond the end of the screws. n. O. The mass of material from each zone is converted to a mean residence time in the zone which is also shown in Fig. The increase in residence time for configuration D is spread between both the solids conveying and the melt pumping regions. Screw configurations denoted by: 0. Smith 262 barrel is fully filled only at the die end of the extruder. . R. C. Water-absorption index vs. The mean residence times in the extruder for configurations A and D are 56 and 94 s. l. C. water-solubility index. A . A..*. A. Kirby. R. At this feed-rate the mean time in the die region is 21 s.A. 6. 9. A. Fig. D. Filled symbols correspond to melts with completely disrupted maize particles. B. consisting entirely of conveying screws. The lower conveying efficiency of configuration D at the die end of the extruder is reflected in the greater melt-filled length. Ollett. 0.-L. the configuration with most mixing paddles. 8. A.

Extrusion cooking of maize grits 263 DISCUSSION In the absence of a physical model which relates processing conditions to product properties it is only possible to construct statistical models which describe the relationship between these variables. In the present results.289 SME . and of solids feed-rate kg h-i.0% of the variance described. Figure 9 shows a graph of WA1 plotted against WSI. The filled symbols are those samples which are judged to be after the transition as indicated by the torque and die pressure measured during their extrusion. particularly for WSI > 32%. attained by a linear regression: WSI = 0. this link is illustrated by the significant changes in process variables and product properties owing to maize particle disruption as indicated in Figs 3-7. In contrast to Meuser’s response surface for water solubility.4-O with 87. particularly in the low-energy range of 50-155 W h kg.l. Clearly.. Table 3 shows the range of SME for each screw configuration. The partitioning of the open and closed symbols either side of the peak in the curve emphasises the link between the ultimate disappearance of the intact maize grit particles. The model demonstrates that there is a simple relationship between product properties and processing conditions. It can be seen that screw configuration can be used to control the range of SME imparted to the material. The latter quantity is calculated from specific mechanical energy input = torque X screw speed solids feed-rate The units of screw speed are radian s-l. This shows that Meuser’s model is valid not only for different screw configurations but also for materials of more complex microstructure than pure starches. the product functional properties and the die pressure and torque. no terms dependent upon product temperature have been included in the regres- . Figure 10 shows the plot of water solubility against specific mechanical energy input (SME). these two indices are strongly correlated. of torque N m. Meuser’s model (Meuser et al. Although statistical modelling offers only limited insight into the mechanism of the process it can provide powerful rationalisations of large amounts of data. The variation in WSI is well described by an equation linear in SME. It allows the overall complex multivariate problem to be simplified. 1984) falls into this category in that it enables the variation of water solubility to be understood in terms of specific mechanical energy input and product temperature.

Smith 264 m 80 I &oA zo- A A @Oo B 0 0 O Oo m- 0 0 1 . Screw configurations denoted by: 0. C. Change in WSI with specific mechanical energy input. 0. h 1 so loo loo 100 Fig. R.A. 10. TABLE 3 Range of Specific Mechanical Energy Input (SME) for Each Screw Configuration SME (Wh kg-‘) Conjiguration Minimum Maximum A B 61 150 78 190 C 101 115 189 198 D . l. B. A. A . Ollett. 0. Kirby. D. R. A. n. C. Filled symbols correspond to melts with completely disrupted maize particles. A.-L. 0. A. Parker.

e. The correlations in Figs 9 and 10 allow water solubility and water absorption to be estimated from the SME input. Another reason is that SME is correlated with barrel temperature in this data set. Figure 5 shows that for the highest conveying-efficiency configuration (A). the water solubility is greater than 32%. particularly in the poorly plasticised systems. However. the present results for configurations C and D show a greater specific mechanical energy input than those in previously reported extrusion studies. SME Z 125 W h kg-l. 9 shows that a relatively accurate estimate of the water absorption index can be made. whereas for the lower conveying-efficiency configurations the temperature at which the maximum occurs progressively decreases. Mercier & Feillet ( 1975) found the maximum to be in the region of 170-200°C at a moisture content of 18%. In contrast. At large mechanical energy inputs.Extrusion cooking of maize grits 265 sion. The similarity of the temperature of the maximum WA1 for screw configuration A to that position reported by earlier workers shows that all these samples had similar thermomechanical treatments during extrusion. This partial collinearity of SME and barrel temperature as regression variables means that adding a linear term in barrel temperature into the above regression does not greatly improve the amount of variance described. at an extrusion moisture content of 18%. It can be concluded that working the grits results in considerable microstructural changes. Anderson et al. A combination of low conveying-efficiency screws and low moisture content results in a particularly high specific mechanical energy input. at smaller energy inputs the weaker correlation between water solubility and absorption means that estimates of the WA1 are less accurate. Interpreting this by Meuser’s model leads to the conclusion that all these samples were extruded under conditions with relatively low specific mechanical energy input. This is in part because product temperature does not differ greatly from the controlled temperature of the barrel in the Baker-Perkins MPFSOD. i. the maximum in WA1 occurs at a temperature of 15O”C. the present results show that this maximum does not always occur at the same barrel temperature irrespective of the other process variables. and Fig. Relatively little work has been done on the relationship ‘between the structure of extruded foams and processing conditions. However. Olkku (1981) also reported a maximum in the WA1 at 170°C in a wheat flour extrusion. (1969) found a maximum in water absorption at a barrel temperature of 170°C and extrusion moisture contents of 14 and 25%. The maximum in the WA1 of extruded cereals with increasing severity of extrusion conditions has been observed by other workers. In contrast to the . the maximum occurs below 90°C. For configurations C and D.

so far as the authors are aware. the resultant foam has a cellular structure with cell walls of non-uniform thickness produced by the simultaneous expansion of adjacent bubbles which are often of different size and growth rate. The die pressure cannot be . C.-L. 1976). 3 shows that an increase in moisture content results in higher bulk density foams. The first is a nucleation stage. 198 1). Comparing results at the same moisture content is more illuminating. Three stages in the expansion process can be distinguished. is clearly required. 198 1) the growth rate depends upon: ( 1) (2) (3) (4) (5) solubility and diffusity of gas in the melt. Under some conditions a fourth stage is also observed in which the outer bubbles of the extrudate deflate as the gas inside them cools and contracts (Park. It is the second stage of initial bubble growth which has proved the most tractable from a theoretical viewpoint. In the low-density foams. during which the sub-microscopic vapour-filled bubbles form within the melt. together with the number and size of bubbles. In Hans’ analysis of bubble growth in a gas-charged melt (Han. Finally. R. This is apparently in contradiction to the conclusions drawn from Hans’ model. since it gives both a lower melt viscosity and a greater blowing agent concentration.266 A. interfacial tension between the gas and the melt. A. Ollett. melt temperature. A more complete model incorporating the other stages of the expansion process. it is a volatile low-molecular-weight component which causes the melt to boil and inflates the bubbles within it. been no attempts to relate the microstructure of food foams to the dynamics of the expansion process. R. Parker. Inspection of Fig. viscosity and elasticity of the melt. which is accompanied by cooling and drying of the extrudate. A. Figure 11 shows a plot of bulk density against die pressure for the four moisture contents used in this study. The increased moisture content might be expected to result in rapid bubble growth and a low-bulk-density foam. individual spherical bubbles from the initial stages of growth give way to more irregular shapes of bubble as their volume fraction exceeds about 30%. there have. This gives way to a growth stage as these bubbles are inflated by water vapour diffusing out of the melt. that is. Smith situation in synthetic polymer research (Han. Kirby. there is a stage at which growth is arrested. initial gas concentration. It acts as a plasticiser by reducing the melt viscosity. it also acts as the so-called ‘blowing agent’. If the growth stage of the puffing of extrudates is analysed in terms of this model it can be seen that the water has a dual role.

Change in bulk density with die pressure at different extrusion moisture contents: 0. The high bulk density samples resulted when the grit particles were not fully disrupted and contained intact starch granules with unmelted crystal&es. This can be achieved with high extrusion temperatures and low conveying efficiency screws.267 Extrusion cooking of maize grits 01 0 I I I I 2 4 6 8 pd wd I 10 Fig. 11. The different lengths and diameters of the samples indicates the different degrees of longitudinal and diametral expansion. which shows lengths of extrudate of equal weight. be used as an index of the viscosity of the melt (Tadmor & Gogos. A . 22%. 0. Filled symbols correspond to melts with completely disrupted maize particles. In this state only a portion of the material was fluid at the die. 18%. 12. l. 0. 1979). extruded under identical conditions of moisture content and barrel temperature. 0. l. Figure 11 indicates that reduced melt viscosity is an important factor in creating low-bulkdensity extrudates. The overall deforma- . This is further illustrated by Fig. A. regarded as a straightforward rheological measurement because of the complicated three-dimensional flow at the die probe and the complex die geometry. 20%. The die pressure may. 24%. however.

A. As the conveying efficiency of the screws decreases. A. The torque is dissipated over the whole length of the screws and there are contributions from the solids conveying region. . Ollett. from configuration A to D. Parker. Kirby. Smith Fig. D.-L. which is indicated by a low die pressure. B. is associated with a high torque on the screws. 0. Figure 13 summarises the die pressure and torque data for a particular temperature profile and illustrates this correlation. tion of the extrudate as the material leaves the die is anisotropic (Park.17 g cm.47 g cm-‘. 0. C. R. The variation is a result of screw configuration differences. 12.268 A. 0. Extrudates of equal weight extruded at an extrusion moisture content of 22% and barrel temperature of 110°C. It is interesting to note that at a constant moisture content a low melt viscosity at the die.72 g cmm3. The bulk densities of the samples are: A. C. the die pressure drops and the torque increases at each of the four extrusion moisture contents studied. 0. it does require high energy inputs during its creation in the extruder barrel. 1976). Although a lowviscosity melt requires less energy to pump it through the dies of the extruder. R.3.21 g cmm3.

l. Extrusion moisture content: 0. The negative correlation between apparent viscosity and specific mechanical energy input shown in Fig. The die pressure and torque for the two dead-stopped runs are amongst those shown graphically in Fig. The die pressures for configurations A and B show that the melt has a high viscosity when the grits are in a partially modified state. 13. 0. The high torques for configurations C and D show that torque dissipation from the melt pumping region is also significant. 20%. 1987). transition region and melt pumping region. Die pressure and torque on the screws at a barrel temperature of 110°C. Guy & Home (1988) reported this result for wheat flour using an extruder-fed capillary die viscometer. 22%. 18%. 13 has recently been observed using rigorous techniques to characterise the melt rheology. The correlation is also implicit in the results of Vergnes & Villemaire (1987) in their study of the effect of thermomechanical history on the melt rheology of maize starch. 24%. A. This means that there will be high stresses and torque dissipation in the transition zone of the extruder where the grits are also in this partially modified state. 0. This has been verified experimentally in synthetic polymer extrusion (Mennig.Extrusion cooking of maize grits 269 Q- 6- 7- - 6- ic 5- 4- 3- I/ 50 150 T (Nm) Fig. A. Filled symbols correspond to melts with completely disrupted maize particles. 0. The dead-stops show that the increase in torque for configuration D results from increased barrel . 13. m.

H. Kirby. 1984) or thermally activated degradation related to melt temperature and residence time in the melt region (Guzman-Tello & Cheftel. 14.270 A. The change in solubility with specific mechanical energy input confirms the validity of Meuser’s model of starch modification when screw configuration is a variable and for starchy materials of complex microstructure. it means that it is not possible to infer the predominant degradation mechanism. A similar problem arises in attempts to identify the role played by barrel temperature from the results for a single screw configuration.. configuration A. St Paul. Cereal Sci. This makes it difficult to distinguish by what mechanism screw configuration affects the extent of starch modification. Anderson. This results in melts of relatively low viscosity at the die which expand to form low-bulk-density products. . R. This is an example of the correlation between torque and barrel temperature.-L. Pfeifer. Figure 6.. F. E. Today. 4-12. 1987). as the screw configurations decrease in conveying efficiency the increase in torque. AACC. REFERENCES AACC (1983).. (1969). or specific mechanical energy input. which in turn is dependent upon the lower conveying efficiency of the screws. A. Ollett. Gelatinization of corn grits by roll. Minnesota. In these experiments. CONCLUSIONS The results presented here show how screw configuration can be used in conjunction with other process variables to produce a range of product microstructures. is linked to increased barrel fill and mean residence time in the extruder. The question is whether changes in the extent of degradation are a result of mechanical degradation related to mechanical energy input (Davidson et al. C: Smith fill. A. shows that torque increases as the grits particles are disrupted at high barrel temperatures. Approved Methods of the American Association of Cereal Chemists. F. or even whether distinct mechanical and thermally activated mechanisms exist in the extrusion-cooking of cereal products. This reduces the problem of relating solubility to process variables to one of predicting the SME or torque under particular conditions. 8th edn. L. Parker. As before. R.. Conway. Screw configurations of low conveying efficiency give rise to long residence times in the extruder barrel during which the feed material is worked and pumped. R. & Griffin. A. V. Jr.and extrusion-cooking.

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