Fruit Drying Process Investigation in Infrared Film Dryer
Latvia University of Agriculture, Institute of Agricultural Machinery, Cakstes blvd. 5, Jelgava, LV – 3001, Latvia:
The work analyzes three different product (apple slices, banana slices and grape halves) drying process in the infrared film dryer. Such drying takes place at low temperatures (to 40 °C), allowing to keep the maximum value of fresh products. The drying process is analyzed in detail in the first 8 hours. The quantity of water runoff, drying product temperature changes and flowing air humidity changes during drying were analyzed. It demonstrates the impact of the product placement on the drying progress. Using the experimental data, average diffusion coefficients are obtained for each product group. The results showed that diffusion coefficients were changing during the drying process. Using mathematical modelling and experimental data, the concentration-dependent diffusion coefficient for apple slices was obtained. The study finds that apple and banana drying using the infrared film is comparatively successful, but the drying process of the half of grape berry is slower. This can be explained by the impact of grape peel on the water diffusion.