Drying Kinetics of Onion (Allium cepa L.) Slices using Low-humidity Air-assisted Hybrid Solar Dryer
Keywords:Moisture diffusivity, mathematical model, onion slice, solar drying, thin-layer drying, low humidity air
Onion slices were dried in a low-humidity air-assisted hybrid solar dryer. Drying occurred in the falling rate period, and the drying rate was attenuated with the initial moisture content of the samples. The effects of different drying air temperatures (50, 60, 70°C) and KMS pre-treatments (0.1, 0.3, 0.5%) on drying characteristics of onion slices were also studied. Eight thin layer drying mathematical models viz. Newton, Page, Modified Page, Exponential, Asymptotic, Logistic, Wang and Singh, and two-term exponential were investigated and the results were compared to their goodness of fit in terms of coefficient of correlation (r), standard error (es), and the mean square of the deviation χ2. Drying characteristics of onion slices were better delineated by Page’s regression model for hybrid solar drying with values for the coefficient of correlation (0.9962–0.9999), standard error (0.0048–0.0431), and χ² (5.98E-05 to 2.16E-03). Effective moisture diffusivity values of onion slices ranged between 1.33E-08 m2.s-1 to 2.49E-08 m2.s-1 for the drying conditions under investigation.
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