Colour development in Pinus radiata D. Don. under kiln-drying conditions.
Thesis DisciplineChemical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
This study quantifies discolouration on the surface of Pinus radiata boards during kiln drying, particularly kiln brown stain (KBS), and models it as a function of chemical compounds present in the wood closest to the surface. The discolouration was investigated with two experimental factors: drying time, which consisted in drying at 70/120 ℃ for 0, 8, 16 and 24 hours; and leaching, done at three levels, noleaching, mild and severe, to reduce the soluble compounds present in wood suspected of developing coloured compounds. The colour change was quantified using a reflectance photometer (colour system CIE Yxy, brightness) and by the analysis of digital photographs (colour system CIE Lab). The chemical analysis of the wood closest to the surface of the boards determined fructose, glucose, sucrose (HPLC), total sugar (sum of fructose, glucose and sucrose), total nitrogen (combustion gas analysis), and phenols discriminated by molecular weight (Folin-Ciocalteu method). In the cause-effect analysis, colour was the dependent variable, and drying time and the determinations of chemical compounds were independent variables. After statistical analysis (ANOVA and MANOVA) the dependent variables to be included in the models were luminance factor (Y), brightness (R457 and the blue-to-yellow scale of CIE Lab (b); and the independent variables were drying time, nitrogen, total sugar, and high-molecular-weight phenols. Linear (multivariate regression) and non-linear models (Neural Networks) showed that discolouration during kiln drying was best predicted when the luminance factor (Y) was used to quantify colour change as a function of the content of nitrogen-containing compounds and drying time. Furthermore, the data were fitted into an empirical model based on simple reaction kinetics that considered the rate of discolouration as a function of nitrogen concentration. The results suggest that nitrogen could act as a limiting reactant in Maillard-type reactions that produce colour during kiln drying.