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Microwave and Radio-Frequency Technologies in Agriculture by Peter Farrell, Mohan V. Jacob, Graham Brodie

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12 Section Introduction

Before World War II, there is little evidence of work on radio frequency or microwave heating; however Kassner (1937b) mentions industrial applications of microwave energy in two of his patents on spark-gap microwave generators (Kassner 1937a, b, 1938). Unfortunately early studies in radio frequency heating concluded that microwave heating of food stuffs would be most unlikely because the calculated electric field strength required to heat biological materials would approach the breakdown voltage of air (Shaw and Galvin 1949).

A fortuitous discovery by Spencer that microwave energy could heat food (Murray 1958) lead to a series of patents (Spencer 1947, 1949, 1952) and the development of microwave cooking equipment. Radiofrequencies ...

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