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Mathematical Modelling of Drying Characteristics of Pepper (Capsicum annum)

Author: 
Nkwocha, A. C., Kamalu, C. I. O., Dadet, W. P., Uzondu, F. N. and Ogbonna, O. C.
Subject Area: 
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Abstract: 

The effects of drying condition on the drying behaviour of pepper (C. annum) and the applicability of three thin-layer drying models namely; Page, logarithmic and Flick’s law, to predict the drying behaviour of pepper were studied. The experiments were conducted in a constant temperature hot air drying oven. Three temperatures (50, 60, and 700 C) were studied. Drying air temperature was found to be the main factor affecting the drying kinetics of pepper; raising the drying temperature from 500C to 700 dramatically reduced the drying times. Higher equilibrium moisture contents were obtained at lower temperatures. Furthermore, drying was observed only in the falling rate period, and comparison among drying models was made using statistical analysis to select the best fitting model for the drying curves. Among the three tested models, Page model was found to be superior to the other models in terms of fitting performance, in fitting the experimental data, providing the highest coefficient of determination (R2) value -0.9944, and the lowest root mean square error (RMSE) value - 0.03032.

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