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Journal of Food Engineering 77 (2006) 188–193 www.elsevier.

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Research note

Optimization of osmotic dehydration of bananas followed by air-drying
Fabiano A.N. Fernandes a,*, Sueli Rodrigues b, ´ ia C.P. Gaspareto c, Edson L. Oliveira c Odisse
b a ´ , Departamento de Engenharia Quı ´mica, Campus do Pici, Bloco 709, 60455-760 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil Universidade Federal do Ceara ´ , Departamento de Tecnologia dos Alimentos, Campus do Pici, Bloco 858, 60356-000 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil Universidade Federal do Ceara c ´mica, Av. Senador Salgado Filho 3000, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Departamento de Engenharia Quı ´ rio, 59072-970 Natal, RN, Brazil Campus Universita

Received 5 October 2004; received in revised form 5 February 2005; accepted 24 May 2005 Available online 9 August 2005

Abstract Bananas are an extremely perishable fruit that do not support freezing and as such, they need to be dried in order to preserve the fruit for later use. The process of osmotic dehydration followed by air-drying was studied and modeled, so it could be optimized. The developed model has been validated with experimental data and simulations have shown how the operating conditions affect the process. An optimization was done using the model in order to search for the best operation condition that would reduce the total processing time. Ó 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Banana; Optimization; Osmotic dehydration; Drying

1. Introduction Bananas (Musa spp.) are one of the most consumed fruits in the world, being produced in almost all tropical countries. It has a high nutrition value and is a good source of energy due to its high level of starch and sugar, as well as been a source of vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, sodium and magnesium. From a biological point of view, bananas are one of the fruits that present the highest losses by decomposition after cropping due to be extremely perishable and not allowing the use of freezing for its conservation. As such, bananas can be dried in order to save the part of the production that will not be readily consumed, since drying is a classical method of food preservation, which provides an extension of
Corresponding author. E-mail addresses: fabiano@efftech.eng.br (F.A.N. Fernandes), sueli@ufc.br (S. Rodrigues), edson@eq.ufrn.br (E.L. Oliveira). 0260-8774/$ - see front matter Ó 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2005.05.058
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shelf-life, lighter weight for transportation and less space for storage (Sousa et al., 2003). Drying is an energy intensive operation, and a greater understanding of the drying process is important if drying efficiency is to be increased while maintaining product quality. The main objective of any drying process is to produce a dried product of desired quality at minimum cost and maximum throughput, and to optimize these factors consistently. Often good quality of a biological product implies that the dried product undergoes several physical, chemical or biological changes to yield a product of desired specifications. Drying is an energy intensive operation that easily accounts for up to 15% of all industrial energy usage, often with relatively low thermal efficiency in the range of 25–50%. Thus, to reduce energy consumption per unit of product moisture, it is necessary to improve the energy efficiency of the drying equipment, reducing the processing time (Chua, Mujumdar, Hawlader, Chou, & Ho, 2001). Bananas

The osmotic solution used in each experiment was prepared by mixing food grade sucrose with the amount of distilled water. whereas osmotic solute is transferred from the solution into the product. Rastogi. A fixed bed air drier can be used to remove the remaining water from the fruit. The osmotic solution to fruit ratio was always equal 4:1 to avoid significant dilution of the medium by water removal. Rios. and (3) optimize the joint processing time for osmotic dehydration of bananas followed by air-drying.A. (2) study the influence of temperature and of the osmotic solution concentration on the process. Rastogi & Niranjan. 2004. so this process must be followed by another process in order to lower even more the fruit water content. 1994. 1997. Osmotic dehydration removes water partially from fruits or vegetables immersed in a hypertonic solution. & Guilbert. The complex cellular structure of food acts as a semi-permeable membrane. Each experimental group was randomly formed by four cylinders. the size and geometry of the material. A basket with marked compartments was used to hold the banana cylinders of each group to avoid interference between them. Experiments were performed with the same constant magnetic agitation. Materials and methods 2. Benedito. Fernandes et al. Pokharkar.N. 1997. Only radial orientation was used. 1997. 1999. which would lead to local reduction of the osmotic driving force during the process. but models for osmotic dehydration are rare and more work has to be done in this field of research (Spiazzi & Mascheroni. and the level of agitation of the solution (Corzo & Gomes. A basket with four-marked compartments was used to hold the cylinders of each group to avoid interference between them. Raoult. 2. 1998. Sa 1993).010 m. water flows from the product into the osmotic solution. ´ nchez. The initial concentration of solute (°Brix) was determined by refractometry and the initial humidity was determined by direct heating in a drying oven at 105 °C for 48 h according to the AOAC method 931. A well-established mathematical model for air-drying is already available throughout the literature. which is still high for food preservation. the solution to material mass ratio. Osmotic dehydration removes water from the fruit up to a certain level. The rate of diffusion of water from any material made up of such tissue depends upon factors such as temperature and concentration of the osmotic solution. / Journal of Food Engineering 77 (2006) 188–193 189 Nomenclature Ai Cj i D H Km M MS R Vi a surface area of phase i (m2) mass concentration of j in phase i (kg/m3) diffusivity (m2/h) humidity (kgwater/kg) mass transfer coefficient (hÀ1 mÀ2) mass (kg) dry mass (kg) drying rate at the constant-rate period (kg/ h m 2) volume of phase i (m3) shrinking factor of the fruit (m3/kg) d q height of the fruit (m) density (kg/m3) Subscripts and superscripts eq equilibrium FR fruit OS osmotic solution ODD osmotic dehydration device S sucrose W water can be dried by osmotic dehydration followed by airdrying. Torreggiani. 1994.1. Preparation of samples Bananas were peeled and with the help of a cutting device banana slices were produced from each radial cylinder in order to obtain cylinders of same dimensions. During osmotic processing. A driving force for water removal is set up because of a difference in osmotic pressure between the food and its surrounding solution. & Rosello. & Knorr.2. Simal. Yao & Maguer. Eshtisghi. which were weighed individually. Prasad.020 m and an average height of 0. by putting it in contact with a hot air stream flowing continuously by the fixed bed containing the fruit slices. 1989. Rastogi & Raghavarao. Osmotic dehydration An experimental group was immersed in the osmotic solution of given concentration and temperature during a given period of time. The general objective of this paper was to study the process of osmotic dehydration followed by air-drying of bananas of the kind ‘‘nanica’’ (Musa spp.04 (AOAC. 1998. The solution was agitated continuously with a .F. 1990). Raoult-Wack. Lafont. Cylinders had an average diameter of 0. Fito.) cut in cylindrical form. The osmotic solution pH was adjusted between the range of 4–5 by addition of food grade citric acid. 2. & Das. 1996). The specific objectives were to (1) model the osmotic dehydration process.

10 dryer shelf and kept drying for 8 h. moisture content and solids soluble contents (°Brix) were measured individually.10 0. Each assay was made in triplicates and the mean values were used to fit the parameters. 3. thus enhancing equilibrium conditions. 2. such as fruits. Once the model has been validated it was used to optimize the total processing time to dry bananas by osmotic dehydration followed by air-drying. After the end of the air-drying process. 2003. the samples were kept in the osmotic solution for 0. Karim & Hawlader. Mathematical model magnetic stirrer to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the experiment. / Journal of Food Engineering 77 (2006) 188–193 Table 1 Operating conditions used in osmotic dehydration of bananas Operating condition A B C D Temperature [°C] 50 70 50 70 Sugar concentration in the osmotic solution [°Brix] 50 50 70 70 Average initial fruit mass [kg] 0. After removal from the solution.0. This phenomenon must be included in the model in order to improve the physical representation of the process and to increase the confidence on the coefficients obtained.N. Each group sample was set in one As to optimize the process of osmotic dehydration followed by air-drying. the dehydrated cylinders of each group were drained.5. the samples were kept in the osmotic solution for 3. Several works in banana dehydration by air-drying have been done and most of them have shown that at 60 °C the diffusion coefficient is maximum and can be considered the optimum point to dry bananas without compromising the product quality (Demirel & Turhan.A. 2005). The temperature and concentration of the solution was monitored throughout each experiment. Every 15 min the bananas were weighted in order to calculate its moisture content by mass balance. Air-drying In the experiments made to study the process of osmotic dehydration followed by air-drying. always produces a considerable shrinkage effect.34 m. which was based on the minimization of the error sum of squares.5 CV blower at a 2. These temperatures have been previously tested and showed that bananas can be exposed to high temperatures without compromising product quality. High temperatures (50–70 °C) were used to increase the mass transfer of water from the fruit to the osmotic solution. A two level experimental design was used in this work as shown in Table 1. After removal from the solution.3. considering the constantrate period and the falling-rate period: dH R Á AFR ¼À ð 4Þ dt MS dH 2p ¼ À 2 Á D Á ðH À H eq Þ ð 5Þ dt d Experimental data were used to fit the mass transfer coefficients of the osmotic dehydration process and to fit the diffusion coefficient of the air-drying process. À W Á dM W W FR ¼ ÀK W m Á AFR Á C FR À C OS Á V FR dt À S Á dM S S FR ¼ ÀK S m Á AFR Á C FR À C OS Á V FR dt ð 1Þ ð 2Þ Drying of agricultural products with high initial moisture content.0 and 4. The experimental conditions are given in Table 1.0 h. Fernandes et al. These parameters were adjusted using the developed model with a parameter estimating procedure that was built in Fortran. blotted with absorbent paper to remove the excess solution. 1.18 0. 2.0 h. Air is injected at the base of the dryer through a 3.0.18 0. Before entering the dryer the air is heated by electrical resistances with 2250 W. and weight. dV FR dM W FR ¼aÁ dt dt ð 3Þ The model for the air-drying process follows the traditional equations for drying. a phenomenological model was developed for both processes. The optimization was done using the method of Levenberg–Marquardt and a computer program was built in Fortran using as objective function the minimization of the sum of the osmotic dehydration processing time plus the air-drying processing time. The mass balance for the fruit considered the loss of water to the osmotic solution and the gain of sugar by the fruit. In our model the shrinkage effect was set to be proportional to the water mass change in the fruit. and relative humidity is controlled at 18%. 3. having height of 1.0 m/s.190 F. all cylinders of each group had their weight. The air-dryer used in the experiments was built in wood and covered with aluminum foil. In the experiments made to estimate the mass transfer coefficients of the dehydration process. and transferred to the fixed bed air-dryer. moisture and soluble solids content (°Brix) measured individually. The model developed for the osmotic dehydration process has considered the mass transfer between the fruit and the osmotic solution (water and sucrose). blotted with absorbent paper to remove the excess solution.3 m and width and length of 0. . The process temperature was monitored using a thermocouple and a heating plate. the dehydrated cylinders of each group were drained.

which suffers a high resistance to enter the fruit. As shown in Fig. 1.F. Karim & Hawlader. . Fitting models Experimental data was used to estimate the mass transfer coefficients for the osmotic dehydration of bananas. The operating condi- Table 2 Mass transfer coefficients between the fruit and the osmotic solution Operating condition A B C D Mass transfer coefficient for water [hÀ1 mÀ2] 177. which demonstrate that the model has represented very well the osmotic dehydration process. This can be explained by the size of the sucrose molecule. 2003.93 tions for the air-drying process were set at 60 °C and constant airflow. The temperature chosen in this work is the maximum temperature for which no alteration occurs in the fruit aspect and quality and is in agreement with temperatures reported in previous works (Demirel & Turhan. 1.85 176. The validations of the model using the mass transfer coefficients are presented in Fig.46 241. It is well-known that mass transfer in air-drying processes is proportional to temperature.N.A. Temperature does not display a significant influence on the sucrose mass transfer coefficient between the solution and the fruit.40 1179.75 111. increasing the sucrose concentration of the osmotic solution leads to an increase in the water mass transfer coefficient between the fruit and the osmotic solution due mainly to the increase in the osmotic pressure gradient. Fig. Fernandes et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 77 (2006) 188–193 191 4. The water diffusivities found for the air-drying process for all osmotic treatment conditions are presented in Table 3.1.88 1946. Experimental data was used to estimate the water diffusivity in the banana during air-drying after going through the osmotic treatment.61 246. Mass of water and sugars in the fruit during the osmotic dehydration process for all operating conditions. The mass transfer coefficients parameters were determined using the Levenberg–Marquardt method to minimize the error sum of squares between the experimental data and the model. 2 shows the experimental data and curve fitting for all operating conditions. These parameters were determined using the Levenberg–Marquardt method to minimize the error sum of squares. 2005). The mass transfer coefficients for all operating conditions are presented in Table 2. Fig. 1. Process involving fruits and other foodstuffs sometimes have to be submitted to low temperatures since some processes causes severe quality loss in product due to exposure to high temperatures.96 Mass transfer coefficient for sucrose [hÀ1 mÀ2] 155. Results and discussion 4.

636 · 10À6 5. The osmotic solution concentration.A. The results show that the use of osmotic dehydration followed by air-drying is an advantage when high concentrations of sucrose solution are used in the osmotic dehydration process.7 404 min 109 min 63.699 · 10À6 4. and osmotic dehydration process The results for air-drying show that the temperature used in the osmotic dehydration affects the diffusivity of water during the air-drying process elevating the mass transfer rate during air-drying as the temperature in the osmotic dehydration increases.2 536 min 97 min 64. / Journal of Food Engineering 77 (2006) 188–193 Table 3 Water diffusivity on the air-drying process for each pre-treatment Operating condition A B C D Temperature [°C] 50 70 50 70 Sugar concentration in the osmotic solution [°Brix] 50 50 70 70 Diffusivity [m2/h] 4. 50 °Brix) followed by air-drying Total processing time Time in osmotic dehydration Solute concentration (°Brix) Osmotic dehydration (50 °C. 70 °Brix) followed by air-drying Total processing time Time in osmotic dehydration Solute concentration (°Brix) 730 min 58.6 597 min 67 min 60. 70 °Brix) followed by air-drying Total processing time Time in osmotic dehydration Solute concentration (°Brix) Osmotic dehydration (70 °C. the model was used to optimize the whole process in order to reduce the total processing time. osmotic dehydration process operating at 50 °C and 50 °Brix followed by air-drying operating at 60 °C. 4.2 697 min 52 min 59. Humidity of the fruit (g of water/g of solids) during the air-drying process for all operating conditions. 50 °Brix) followed by air-drying Total processing time Time in osmotic dehydration Solute concentration (°Brix) Osmotic dehydration (70 °C. Table 4 Total processing time and solute concentration of the final dried product Air-drying Total processing time Solute concentration (°Brix) Osmotic dehydration (50 °C.928 · 10À6 5.4 .192 F. Process optimization Based on the estimated parameters for the osmotic dehydration process and the air-drying process. Table 4 presents the total processing times and the fruit solute concentration (°Brix) for the final product for: air-drying process operating at 60 °C.843 · 10À6 a slight increase in the diffusivity is observed as the osmotic solution concentration increases. Fernandes et al.N. however. 2. do not influence much the water diffusivity during the air-drying process and only Fig.2.

C. Journal of Food Engineering. 29. The estimated parameters allowed to simulate the drying process and to optimize the system in order to reduce the total processing time. Rastogi. Osmotic dehydration: study of mass transfer in terms of engineering properties. Mass transfer model for osmotic dehydration of fruits and vegetables—I. . H. K. and the use of the osmotic treatment to reduce the total processing time of fruit drying.. Souza Filho. Hawlader. Maia.6 °Brix which is lower than the maximum amount the fruit can incorporate. 5. (1998). R. & Souza Neto. (1997). M. Corzo. Food Research International. N. 349–360. S.. Torreggiani. reducing the drying period in 3 h if compared to solely using the air-drying process to dry bananas. Z. Journal Food Science and Technology. S.. Development of the simulation model. (1998). Washington: Association of Official Analytical Chemists... up to a limit of 67 °Brix. Modeling of vacuum osmotic dehydration of food. after 2 h. G. Lafont. 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The results show the advantage of using high sucrose concentrations for the osmotic solution. Process and Food International.. ´ nchez. Acknowledgement The authors thank CNPq—Conselho Nacional de ´fico e Tecnolo ´ gico for the finanDesenvolvimento Cientı cial support of this work. and after this period only water is removed from the fruit. (2004). 59–68. S. Osmotic dehydration in fruit and vegetables. Mathematical modelling and simulation of mass transfer in osmotic dehydration processes. R. 34. M. E. Trends in Food Science and Technology. M. (1997). 126–130. Journal of Food Engineering. Chua. N. Figueredo. H. S. the diffusion of sucrose into the fruit halts. All simulations stopped at the same final fruit moisture content of 0. Drying Õ89 (pp. Anyway. 721–731. T. P. Fito. Prasad. K.. (1997). J. Influe Concentrac ¸a ¸a ¸a ˜ o e da Proporc ˜ o Fruto: Xarope na Desidratac ˜o ´ tica de Bananas Processadas. 1–11. L.A. 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