In this study, for the first time Electro Resistance Tomography is employed for macroscale (bulk) characterization of gluten free dough during mixing in 1L scale vessel. Gluten free dough is a complex fluid, which presents a non-Newtonian behaviour. Its rheological behaviour is complex because it is not only shear rate dependent, but also time dependent. The investigated gluten-free dough consists of a mixture of gluten free flours (chickpeas, corn and potato starch), a thickening agent, instantaneous yeast and water. As thickening agent, Xanthan gum is used, which is a polysaccharide with many industrial uses, including food additive. The dough has been prepared in a 3D printed mixer equipped with double rotation shaft lid. Thus a “pizza” hook rotates off-centre (respect to the lid of the vessel) and on the axis of rotation of the hook itself. At the wall of the vessel, the electrodes for the tomography measurements are added in 4 circular planes.
With the current work, a new approach to dynamically monitor the mixing developments is suggested, showing the potentiality of the technique to not intrusively identify inhomogeneity in the dough during the process. A standard operating procedure is used for the preparation of the dough, which consists in precise steps in time of material addition into the mixture.