The extrusion process is one of the most popular in food technologies. It is with a low cost and short time. A four-factor Response surface methodology central composite rotatable design was used to study the effect of moisture content, barrel temperature, screw speed, and feed screw speed on sectional expansion index (SEI) and bulk density during extrusion of chickpea instant semolina for the instant product. The lowest value for the SEI was 102% (20% moisture content, 150ºC barrel temperature, 190 rpm screw speed, and 65 rpm feed screw speed) and the highest value was 137% (23% moisture content, 160ºC barrel temperature, 170 rpm screw speed, and 50 rpm feed screw speed). The regression models for the investigated responses were highly significant (according to P-value) with satisfactory coefficients of determination (R2) 0.894 and 0.957. These results show that the predicted models for the investigated responses are adequate, indicating that the second-order polynomial model could be effectively used to represent the relationship between the selected parameters. The study showed that the expansion was influenced by moisture and temperature and it increased with increasing temperature for moisture content from 20 to 23% and after that decreased. Bulk density decreased with increasing feed moisture and barrel temperature in the extruder. The bulk density varied from 79 to 116 kg/m3 for both samples (23% moisture content, 160ºC barrel temperature, 170 rpm screw speed, and 50 rpm feed screw speed) and (20% moisture content, 150ºC barrel temperature, 150 rpm screw speed, and 65 rpm feed screw speed). The most important consequences for the science and practice resulting from the conducted research are that the resulting extrudates after grinding can be successfully used for the preparation of instant products with good characteristics, such as bulk density and sectional expansion index.
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