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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 8, 2013

Thin Layer Modelling of Microwave-Convective Drying of Tomato Slices

Tilahun S. Workneh and Moruf O. Oke

Abstract

The thin layer drying behaviour of tomato slices dried using microwave power densities of 1.13, 2.08 and 3.11 W/g combined with air ventilation (50°C) and hot air drying at 40, 50, 70 and 80°C was investigated. The tomato slice dried faster when subjected to microwave heating coupled with hot air ventilation. Drying time decreased considerably with increase in microwave power density and with increase in hot air temperature. Drying took place in a constant rate period followed by the falling rate period after a short heating period. The drying data were fitted to Newton (Lewis), Page, Henderson and Pabis, Logarithmic, Wang and Singh and Parabolic equations. The Parabolic model (R2 = 0.9999; χ2 = 0.0085; MBE = 0.0182 and RMSE = 0.0691) gave the best fit to predict the hot air ventilation drying of tomato slices while the Logarithmic model (R2 = 0.9951; χ2 = 0.0024; MBE = −0.0319 and RMSE = 0.0477) gave the best fit for microwave-assisted hot air drying of tomato slices. The values of the effective diffusivity coefficients of the tomato slices varied between 1.68 × 10–9 and 5.22 × 10–8 m2/s while the activation energy was 27.09 kJ/mol. The lower activation energy indicates that drying of tomato slices requires less energy and is hence a cost and energy-saving method. Microwave drying at 1.13 and 2.08 W/g maintained superior colour quality of the tomato slices.

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Published Online: 2013-06-08

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