Comparative microstructure study of oil palm fruit bunch fibre, mesocarp and kernels after microwave pre-treatment
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© Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd. The implementation of microwave technology in palm oil processing offers numerous advantages; besides elimination of polluted palm oil mill effluent, it also reduces energy consumption, processing time and space. However, microwave exposure could damage a material's microstructure which affected the quality of fruit that can be related to its physical structure including the texture and appearance. In this work, empty fruit bunches, mesocarp and kernel was microwave dried and their respective microstructures were examined. The microwave pretreatments were conducted at 100W and 200W and the microstructure investigation of both treated and untreated samples were evaluated using scanning electron microscope. The micrographs demonstrated that microwave does not significantly influence kernel and mesocarp but noticeable change was found on the empty fruit bunches where the sizes of the granular starch were reduced and a small portion of the silica bodies were disrupted. From the experimental data, the microwave irradiation was shown to be efficiently applied on empty fruit bunches followed by mesocarp and kernel as significant weight loss and size reduction was observed after the microwave treatments. The current work showed that microwave treatment did not change the physical surfaces of samples but sample shrinkage is observed.
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