The Burning Balimbing Slices in Microwave Oven

In my previous post, I managed drying fresh guyabano leaves in microwave oven successfully. Three to five minutes drying time at maximum heat setting. All trials did not cause any color deterioration.

plumb ripe balimbingI tried replicating the same with the fresh balimbing fruits. I was surprised. I got a not so nice unexpected results.  I saw a burning flame inside the microwave while in process. I immediately turned the timer knob to zero and inspected the sample. The sample was burnt. It was obviously not what I wanted.

burnt balimbing slices 1I placed another fresh sample inside oven. I got the camera and attempted to take pictures of what was happening inside.

The burning balimbing slices in microwave oven.

ember burning inside microwave ovenI tried heating a raw balimbing. The same burning result was observed.

raw whole balimbing and slicesburnt balimbing slices on petri dishesThere are two possible reasons for this phenomenon.

1) The sugar content. According to msu.edu, sugar tend to attract more microwave energy. It heats faster and prone to burning.  Maybe the setting I  chose was too high. However, using a low heat setting will make drying time too slow. And, too slow drying will void my original purpose.

2) Metal content. Did you observe a piece of metal being heated in microwave? I did! I saw sparkles of light coming from the aluminum lid of instant cup noodles. Balimbing could have high metal content, high enough to make it sparkle when hit with microwave!

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