A combined experimental and numerical study of microwave thawing of a food analog material is reported. The objective of this study is to determine thawing histories and temperature profiles for cylindrically shaped samples. Microwave thawing experiments of samples with different aspect ratios were performed to collect time-temperature data for various power levels. These measured thawing times were utilized in a comparative analysis with the numerical predictions. The heat transfer phenomena due to the interaction between phase change and heat generation was analyzed. A two-dimensional mathematical model was developed to deal with the complicated thawing process, which includes the frozen, mushy, and thawed phases, and the evaporation of water. The present study is anticipated to form a fundamental understanding of the interactions between microwave irradiation and phase-change heat transfer.

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