In this paper starch gelatinisation in Couette-Taylor flow (CTF) apparatus (equipped with a water heat jacket) has been investigated. CTF (characterised by the presence of Taylor vortices) provides good environment for gelatinisation, e.g. effective mixing, fast heat transfer, positive influence on starch rheological properties. During experiments starch gelatinisation degree and starch swelling has been studied. It was accompanied by temperature measurements performed along the apparatus. Additionally, starch gelatinisation was investigated by computer simulation. A complete starch gelatinisation was obtained for the shortest investigated residence time in the apparatus when the temperature in the heat jacket was above 85 °C. Nevertheless, it seems that it is still possible to reduce a residence time value, as well as, the value of Thj, but it may require some acceleration of rotor rotation. The swelling degree of gelatinised starch increased with growing values of residence time, rotor rotation and process temperature. Heat transferred could be affected by the structure of the Taylor vortex flow. No significant destruction of starch granules was observed during the treatment in Couette-Taylor flow apparatus. A quite satisfactory agreement between computer simulation and experiments results was achieved.
In this paper, thermal processing of starch slurry in a Couette-Taylor flow (CTF) apparatus was investigated. Gelatinized starch dispersion, after treatment in the CTF apparatus, was characterized using such parameters like starch granule diameters (or average diameter), starch granule swelling degree (quantifying the amount of water absorbed by starch granules) and concentration of dissolved starch. These parameters were affected mostly by the process temperature, although the impact of the axial flow or rotor rotation on them was also observed. Moreover, the analysis of results showed a relatively good correlation between these parameters, as well as, between those parameter and apparent viscosity of gelatinized starch dispersion. Meanwhile, the increase in the value of the apparent viscosity and in shear-tinning behaviour of dispersion was associated with the progress of starch processing in the CTF apparatus. Finally, the CTF apparatuses of different geometries were compared using numerical simulation of the process. The results of the simulation indicated that the apparatus scaling-up without increasing the width of the gap between cylinders results in higher mechanical energy consumption per unit of processed starch slurry.