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# Foodstuff - Thermal Diffusivity

## Thermal diffusivity of some selected food products.

Thermal diffusivity is the rate of transfer of heat of a material from the hot side to the cold side - a measure of how quickly a material can absorb heat from its surroundings. It can be calculated by taking the thermal conductivity divided by density and specific heat capacity at constant pressure.

Thermal diffusivity has the SI derived unit of [m²/s], and is usually denoted α but a, κ, K, and D are also used. The formula is:

α =k / (ρ CP)            [1]

where

α = thermal diffusivity (m2/s)
k = is thermal conductivity [W/(m·K)]
ρ = density [kg/m³]
CP = specific heat capacity [J/(kg·K)]

Thermal diffusivity of selected foodstuff:

FoodstuffWater Content
(% wt)
Temperature
(oC)
Thermal Diffusivity
(10-7 m2/s)
Apple, juice 37 5 1.05
Apple, whole 85 0 - 30 1.37
Banana, flesh 76 5 1.18
Beans, baked 4 - 122 1.68
Beef, chuck 66 40 - 65 1.23
Beef, round 71 40 - 65 1.33
Beef, tongue 68 40 - 65 1.32
Cherries, flesh 30 1.32
Codfish 81 5 1.22
Corned beef 65 5 1.32
Grapefruit, flesh 89 1.27
Halibut 76 40 - 65 1.47
Ham, smoked 64 5 1.18
Lemon, whole 72 40 1.07
Lima beans, pureed 26 - 122 1.80
Pea, pureed 16 - 122 1.82
Peach, whole 27 1.39
Potato, cooked and mashed 78 5 1.23
Potato, flesh 25 1.70
Rutabaga 48 1.34
Squash, whole 47 1.71
Strawberry, flesh 92 5 1.27
Sugarbeet 14 1.26
Tomato, pulp 4 1.48

## Related Topics

• Material Properties - Material properties for gases, fluids and solids - densities, specific heats, viscosities and more

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Temperature

oC
oF

Length

m
km
in
ft
yards
miles
naut miles

Area

m2
km2
in2
ft2
miles2
acres

Volume

m3
liters
in3
ft3
us gal

Weight

kgf
N
lbf

Velocity

m/s
km/h
ft/min
ft/s
mph
knots

Pressure

Pa (N/m2)
bar
mm H2O
kg/cm2
psi
inches H2O

Flow

m3/s
m3/h
US gpm
cfm

1 14