Date of Award


Degree Type



Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Ebiana, Asuquo

Subject Headings

Baking -- Equipment and supplies, Bread, Computational fluid dynamics, Heat -- Transmission, computational fluid dynamics, industrial bread baking oven


The importance of efficiency in food processing cannot be overemphasized. It is important for an organization to remain consumer- and business-oriented in an increasingly competitive global market. This means producing goods that are popular, of high quality and low cost for the consumer. This research involves studying existing methods of baking bread in a common type of industrial oven - the single level bread baking tunnel oven. Simulations of the oven operating conditions and the conditions of the food moving through the oven are performed and analyzed using COMSOL, an engineering modeling, design and simulation software. The simulation results are compared with results obtained using MATLAB (a high-level programming language), theoretical analyses and/or results from literature. The most important results from this research are the attainment of the temperature distribution and moisture content of the bread, and the temperature and velocity flow fields within the oven. More specifically, similar values for the temperature rise of a 0.1 m by 0.1 m by 1 m model dough/bread were attained for analytical results, MATLAB, COMSOL (using a volumetric heat source), and COMSOL (using heat fluxes from analytical calculation) these values are 41.1 K, 39.90 K, 41.45 K, and 41.46 K, respectively. Similarly, the temperature rise of the dough/bread from a 2-D COMSOL model (using appropriate inputs for this and all models in this research) is found to be 25.39 K, which has a percent difference of - 44.4 from the MATLAB result of 39.90 K. The moisture loss of the bread via analytical (and MATLAB) calculation is found to be 0.0423 kg water lost per hour, which is within the literature values of 0.030 and 0.25488 kg water lost per hour. The velocity flow fields within the (open) oven for the dimensional free (natural) convection COMSOL simulation show a qualitatively correct rising of the air due to the buoyancy forces imposed by the heating elements. The flow fields within the (closed) oven for the nondimensional free con