Finite element simulation of the compression behaviour of airy breakfast cereals

Hedi Mamlouk, Sofiane Guessasma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In this paper we are concerned by the fragmentation study of five breakfast cereals from the market exhibiting differences in shape, formulation and texture. The experimental part of the study encompasses compression testing and fragment size evaluation using 2D image analysis. Structural information about the airy structure is then determined using X-ray tomography and related 3D image analysis. The numerical part has the ambition of assessing the fragmentation process using a damage-based mechanical model that simulates solid material rupture events as onset and growth of damage up to brittle failure. The model is based on a finite element scheme in which direct information of the 3D airy structure is encoded in the solid meshing. The force-displacement signature well shows competition between bending and compression driven failure depending on cereal shape. Our results show also large dispersion in the porous structure that affects significantly the result of the fragmentation. The numerical model is able to simulate the result of fragmentation at the cost of identifying two mechanical parameters, namely Young's modulus and critical stress. These two quantities are proved to be product dependent and display a large range of variation. Industrial relevance The design of new food product becomes more and more based on functionality criteria. In a typical chewing process the need to understand the deformation mechanisms leading to fragmentation helps in understanding the role of the structure and, in turn, the processing conditions for building new transformed products. There is an increasing industrial demand in that sense especially knowing that some of the cereal products can be designed to meet these criteria for specific populations (old people with dental problems, infant feeding). Our work is, within this context, an attempt to set a numerical and experimental framework for studying the fragmentation of five selected breakfast cereals from the market. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-203
Number of pages14
JournalInnovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies
StatePublished - Jul 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • General Chemistry
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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