Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Applied mathematics, Condensed matter physics, Polymer science, Thermodynamics

Publication Details

M. Chapwanya, N.N. Misra (2015) A soft condensed matter approach towards mathematical modelling of mass transport and swelling in food grains, Journal of Food Engineering, Vol 145, Pages 37-44, ISSN 0260-8774,


Soft condensed matter (SCM) physics has recently gained importance for a large class of engineering materials. The treatment of food materials from a soft matter perspective, however, is only at the surface and is gaining importance for understanding the complex phenomena and structure of foods. In this work, we present a theoretical treatment of navy beans from a SCM perspective to describe the hydration kinetics. We solve the transport equations within a porous matrix and employ the Flory–Huggin’s equation for polymer–solvent mixture to balance the osmotic pressure. The swelling of the legume seed is modelled as a moving boundary with an explicit transient equation. The model exhibits a good agreement with the experimental observations and is capable of explaining the stages of hydration. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the degree of hydration is dependent on the bean size and is also sensitive to the selection of the intrinsic permeability of the bean.