, 1997). Hence, optimization of the drying operations must minimize theconsumption of energy and minimize theprocessing effect on the biologic quality of thedried products (Belghit
, 2000). Theoptimization of drying parameters of mechanicaldryer also leads to the increased production rateof dried products (Ibrahim
, 2009).Apart from consumption of fresh banana, theycan be processed or semi-processed into varioustasty items such as fruit cups and salads,sandwiches, custards and gelatins etc. Greenbananas are generally consumed as vegetableand banana chips from green banana slices.Despite its nutritional value and economicpotential, banana flour is not listed in thecommon food items produced from banana. It ishardly seen as consumer product in theinternational food market (Haque, 2008). About32% of banana’s total production is harvested asgreen banana (FAO, 2003), which is rich incarbohydrate especially starch (20-25%)(Cordenunsi and Lajolo, 1995),
dietary fiberespecially hemi cellulose (6.08%) (Kayisu
essential minerals such as potassium,phosphorus and calcium and various vitaminssuch as A, B
and C (Morton, 1987). Besides,green banana has been found to reduce clinicalseverity of childhood Shigellosis and is useful intreating diarrheal diseases (Rabbani
, 2009).In the green stage, for having high percentage of starch, banana is suited to be used as the sourceof starch and flour. Green banana flour can be ahealthier replacement of wheat flour and potatoflour. Despite good prospects and healthbenefits, green banana flour has not yet beenfully utilized. The major reasons behind thisunder utilization may be higher cost associatedwith its conversion into flour (compared to otherstarch flours) and limited researches highlightingthe potential and the beneficial properties (Bello-Perez
, 1999). Hence, the present researchaimed at investigating drying behavior of greenbanana during mechanical dehydration togetherwith assessing applicability of green bananaflour in potato chips formulation.
Materials and Methods
Materials and equipments
Good quality green bananas (
),potato powder, starch, wheat powder andsoybean oil were collected from the local market.A cabinet dryer (OV-165, GallenkampCompany) was used for drying of banana slices.The velocity of drying air was kept constant at0.6 m/sec. A temperature range of 55 to 65°Cwas used. Excessively high temperatures werenot used to avoid the possibility of nutrient lossand of case hardening.
Mechanical drying experiment
Loading densities of 4, 6 and 8 kg/m
of crushedbanana (corresponding initial thickness were 5,7.5 and 10 mm respectively) were dried at 65
Cto determine the effect of loading on the dryingrate. To determine the effect of temperature onthe drying rate, these slabs were dried at threedifferent temperatures (55, 60 and 65
C). Theeffect of thickness on drying rate was alsoinvestigated. The change of sample mass overtime was recorded to calculate the drying rateconstants, diffusion coefficients and values of exponent ‘n’ of the two parameters power lawmodel. The temperature dependence of diffusioncoefficient was determined which was used todetermine activation energy for diffusion of water from green banana.
Preparation of green banana flour
After washing in clean water, each banana wascut into 3 to 4 pieces which were then blanchedin boiled water for 5 minutes and peeledmanually. Subsequently, they were sliced into 3mm uniform pieces by a mechanical slicer.These sliced pieces were then dipped into 0.2%KMS solution for 10 minutes to enhance thecolor of the finished product. The slices weredried in a cabinet dryer for about 8 hours at65
C. Finally, the banana flour was obtained bygrinding the dried banana pieces in a flour milland packed in polyethylene bags for further use.Precaution was taken carefully to avoid anymixing with other materials during grinding andpackaging.88
Islam et al./The Agriculturists 10(1): 87-97 (2012)