Mathematical Modeling of Moisture Content of Apple Slices (Var. Golab) During Drying
Elham Meisami-asl, Shahin Rafiee, Alireza Keyhani and Ahmad Tabatabaeefar
Drying is one of the primary methods of food preservation. Determining coefficients used in drying models is essential to predict the drying behavior. The present study was conducted to compute drying characteristics of apple slices. Thin layer drying kinetics of apple slices (variety-Golab) was experimentally investigated in a convective dryer and the mathematical modeling was performed by using thin layer drying models in the literature. Drying characteristics of apple slices were determined using heated ambient air at temperatures between 40 and 80oC, velocities at 0.5 m/s and thickness of thin layer 2, 4, 6 mm. Beside the effects of drying air temperature, effects of slice thickness on the drying characteristics, drying time and quality of dried product were also determined. Drying curves obtained from the experimental data were fitted to twelve different thin layer drying models. All the models were compared according to three statistical parameters, i.e. Root Mean Square Error (RMSE), chi-square (X2) and modeling efficiency (EF). The results showed that increasing drying air temperature resulted to shorter drying times. Midilli model had the highest value of EF (0.999611), the lowest values of 0.031806 and 0.001088 for RMSE and X2 respectively. The Midilli model was found to be the best model for describing the drying curves of apples. The effects of drying air temperature and thickness on the drying constant and coefficient were also shown.