Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Food Science and Technology

Major Professor

Federico M. Harte

Committee Members

John B. Wilkerson, John R. Mount, Philip X. Ye


Cereals and legumes are important sources of vegetable-based human nutrition. Together they account for 48.6 % of protein and 8.7 % carbohydrate consumption around the world. During preparation, majority of these agricultural staples are re-hydrated to aid in their digestibility, palatability and the bio-availability of the nutrients.

Study of hydration kinetics of cereals and legumes is an important and valuable necessity for industry and academia to understand and gain insights into seed hydration characteristics. An automatic seed hydration analyzing system is developed as a solution for lack of instruments with broad capabilities to study variety of seed properties. The device measures volume and weight with 97.87 % and 99.08 % accuracy respectively.

Utilizing the seed hydration analyzing device, studies were conducted to analyze different regional cultivars of navy beans, black beans and pinto beans. The rate of volume and weight uptake of different international navy bean cultivars is also studied. The data obtained showed considerable differences among both regional and international cultivars. Navy bean hydration is studied for impact its dependence on sodium and calcium salt concentrations in soak water, and optimum salt content is determined for maximum volume and weight increase during soaking.

Data obtained from the seed hydration analyzing device during soaking of dry beans, oil seeds and barley are utilized to analyze different empirical models that are used to study hydration kinetics of cereals and legumes by applying Theil error splitting method. Weibull distribution model worked better for all soak studies with certain limitations.

The steeping process in malt preparation using barley is analyzed by measuring volume and weight of the seeds. Data analysis showed that the device was able to predict germination time of barley during steeping process and it is later utilized to evaluate different barley varieties are steeping the seed hydration analyzing device, with different steep water temperatures and air-rest periods.

The seed hydration analyzing device was designed, developed and tested to prove its capability as a fast and easy method to provide support for hydration kinetic studies of cereals and legumes and it is possible to improve their process and nutritional quality.


This document contains patented information.

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