EVALUATION OF MASS TRANSFER DURING OSMO-CONVECTIVE DRYING OF BENINCASA HISPIDA CUBES IN SALT SOLUTION USING REGRESSIONAL-DESIRABILITY METHOD
Keywords:Benincasa hispida, Osmotic dehydration, Mass transfer, Desirability method, Model, Convective drying
Regressional-desirability approach in Box-Behnken response surface design was employed in this study to examine and optimize the osmotic dehydration process of Benincasa hispida cubes by impregnating in salt solution as an osmotic agent. The effect of independent parameters such as, concentration of solution (1-5%), sample to solution ratio (1:5-1:15 g/ml), temperature of osmotic solution (30-50℃) and time of immersion (30-180 min) on the weight reduction (WR), solid gain (SG), water loss (WL), rehydration ratio (RR) and shrinkage (SH) were studied. Second order polynomial mathematical models were developed for the responses and all the independent process variables have considerable consequence on the responses. The optimal dehydration process condition was found by regressional-desirability method and were: osmotic solution concentration of 2.73%, sample to solution ratio of 1:14 g/ml, osmotic solution temperature of 50℃ and osmotic dehydration time of 179 minutes with the mass transfer and quality properties such as weight reduction of 24.59%, solid gain of 7.69%, water loss of 32.28%, rehydration ratio 11.43%, shrinkage 8.58% and overall acceptability 8.19. The optimized samples were subjected to convective drying in cabinet tray dryer at different drying air temperatures (40, 50 and 60℃). The results indicated that the osmotic pre-treatment of the samples using salt solution was better in terms of water removal and reduction in the processing time when combined with convective drying process. Also, the quality of the final product was found to be good for the osmo-convective dried product using salt solution.
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