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Batch uniformity and energy efficiency improvements on a cabinet dryer suitable for smallholder farmers

Batch uniformity and energy efficiency improvements on a cabinet dryer suitable for smallholder farmers

Precoppe, Marcelo, Janjai, Serm, Mahayothee, Busarakorn and Müller, Joachim (2014) Batch uniformity and energy efficiency improvements on a cabinet dryer suitable for smallholder farmers. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 52 (8). pp. 4819-4829. ISSN 0022-1155 (Print), 0975-8402 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-014-1544-y)

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Abstract

Drying can add value, facilitate transport and extend the storage life of agro-products; therefore, in developing countries with poorly established cool-chains, drying is particularly effective. Furthermore, drying within small-scale village-based enterprises contributes to rural development. However, most equipment suitable to such operations yields a product of non-uniform quality and shows low levels of energy efficiency. The aim of this research was to improve the batch uniformity and the energy efficiency of a cabinet dryer suitable for smallholder farmers. Experiments were carried out with the cooperation of a dryer manufacturer and a group of users. On each trial 144.5 kg of peeled and deseeded litchis were placed at the dryer’s 17 trays, that were stacked atop each other. Moisture content (wet basis) was reduced from 87 to 23 % in about 15.5 h. It was found that a low-cost modification to the dryer chamber’s air inlet was able to improve heat distribution and increase the uniformity of the fruit’s moisture content. In the original design, at the end of the drying process, moisture content of the fruits on the top tray was 38 % while at the bottom tray was 12 %. The modification to the dryer reduced this disparity and the final moisture content of the fruits placed at the top tray was 25 % while at the bottom tray was 21 %. In addition, the modification reduced the dryer’s air mass flow from 0.3 to 0.1 kg s−1 without jeopardizing drying forces, consequently the dryer energy efficiency increased from 33 to 42 %.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Convection dryer, Hot-air dryer, Heat consumption, Product homogeneity, Moisture content, Lychee
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food Systems Research Group
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2017 16:29
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/17213

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