3D Scanners in Food Processing

This study, started in October 2007, was supported by TUBITAK-MAG (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey – Engineering Research Grant Committee) with a project number of 107M217, and completed in October 2008.

Rahmi Uyar (Masters Student) was involved in this project and financially supported by TUBITAK.


By using 3 dimensional scanners, modeling for a simulation study would be much easier and more realistic. That the food products have no certain geometrically defined shape i.e., spherical and cylindrical shapes, might result in certain difficulties on mathematical modeling. By defining the geometrical shapes as they are, that would be possible to get more accurate and precise results from the simulation studies. Therefore, the objectives of this project are to obtain the digital images of the food products of no certain geometrical shape using a 3 dimensional scanner, to use these images in a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) program for a food process simulation study and to define the advantages and benefits of the applied methodology. Based on this concept, the followings were accomplished:

–     Obtaining 3 dimensional digital images: To accomplish this, images of pear, strawberry, banana and apple were obtained using the NextEngine 3 dimensional scanner.

–     Simulations: The pear and strawberry images obtained from the 3 NextEngine dimensional scanner were imported to a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, Ansys CFX (V. 11), and a cooling process was simulated using the experimentally obtained initial and boundary conditions.

–     Experiments: Cooling experiments for pear and strawberries were accomplished, and the experimental and simulation results were compared.

By completing this project, significance of application of 3 dimensional scanned images with CFD analysis was demonstrated for a better process modeling and analysis.