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food and bioproducts processing 9 0 ( 2 0 1 2 ) 5257

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Food and Bioproducts Processing


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/fbp

Optimization of bakers yeast drying in industrial


continuous uidized bed dryer
Hamidreza Akbari a , Keikhosro Karimi a,b, , Magnus Lundin b ,
Mohammad J. Taherzadeh b
a
b

Department of Chemical Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156-83111, Iran


School of Engineering, University of Bors, SE-501 90, Bors, Sweden

a b s t r a c t
Instant active dry bakers yeast is a well-known product widely used for leavening of bread, produced by fermentation,
and usually dried by hot air to 9496% dry matter content. Multi-stage uidized bed drying process is a commercial
effective method for yeast drying. In this work, optimum operating parameters of an industrial continuous uidized
bed dryer for the production of instant active dry yeast were investigated. The dryer contained four zones separated
with moving weirs. The operating conditions such as temperature, loading rate of compressed yeast granules, and
hot air humidity had direct effects on both yeast activity and viability. The most important factors that affected the
quality of the product were loading rate and the operational temperature in each zone on the bed. Optimization was
performed for three loading rates of the feed to the dryer, using response surface methodology for the experimental
design. The most signicant factor was shown to be the loading rate with mean fermentation activity values of 620,
652, and 646 cm3 CO2 /h for 300, 350, and 400 kg/h loading rates, respectively. The data analysis resulted in an optimal
operating point at a loading rate of 350 kg/h and temperatures of zones 1, 2, 3, and 4 controlled at 33, 31, 31, and 29 C,
respectively. The best activity value was predicted as 668 18 cm3 CO2 /h, and conrmation experiments resulted in
660 10 cm3 CO2 /h. At the same operating point, the average viability of the cells was predicted as 74.8 3.7% and
conrmed as 76.4 0.6%. Compared with the normal operating conditions at the plant, the optimization resulted in
more than 12% and 27% improvement in the yeast activity and viability, respectively.
2011 The Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Bakers yeast; Drying; Continuous uidized bed dryer; Optimization; Saccharomyces cerevisiae

1.

Introduction

Bakers yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is globally used in


bakery and confectionary processes. The yeast is produced
industrially by aerobic cultivation on various available and
inexpensive carbon sources such as molasses. The yeast cells
in the wort are then centrifuged and ltered to obtain wet
yeast with 6570% moisture, or further dried to obtain dry
yeast with a moisture as low as 46% (Beker and Rapoport,
1987; Josic, 1982). Both wet and dry yeast are available on the
market with different advantages and shelf lives. The activity
of wet yeast is usually higher than that of dry yeast. However,
the simplicity in transportation and storage, and long shelf life
of dry yeast makes it incredibly popular in the world.

The yeast can be granulated and then dried to obtain


instant active dry yeast. Drying processes are usually
based on removal of water by evaporation (Mujumdar and
Devahastin, 2000; Strumillo and Kudra, 1986). Due to the high
sensitivity of most biological materials to high temperatures
and water activities, such as bakers yeast, its preservation is a
challenge in the related industries. It is necessary to maintain
its activities over a period of time in order to prolong its shelf
life. During thermal drying, the yeast may undergo numerous
changes such as destruction of cell membranes, denaturation
of proteins or enzymes, or even death (Adamiec et al., 1995).
Therefore, optimum operational conditions in the drying process are required in order to minimize such adverse effects
of thermal drying. Different industrial dryers are available in

Corresponding author at: Department of Chemical Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156-83111, Iran.
Tel.: +98 3113915623; fax: +98 3113912677.
E-mail address: karimi@cc.iut.ac.ir (K. Karimi).
Received 12 April 2010; Received in revised form 24 November 2010; Accepted 23 December 2010
0960-3085/$ see front matter 2011 The Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.fbp.2010.12.005

53

food and bioproducts processing 9 0 ( 2 0 1 2 ) 5257

industries; in which uidized bed dryers with batch or continuous operations are widely used for industrial drying of bakers
yeast (Hovmand, 1995).
Bayrock and Ingledew (1997a) studied drying of compressed
S. cerevisiae in uidized bed dryer as well as its exposure
to moist heat in classical thermal death time experiments.
They reported that dehydration (not moist heat, dry heat, or
oxidation) was responsible for viability decreases during the
uidized bed drying. It was also determined that the viability
decreased sharply in the falling-rate drying period. Bayrock
and Ingledew (1997b) also studied the effects of moisture levels, drying rates, and yeast cell viabilities for two commercial
compressed bakers yeasts dried in a modied uidized bed
dryer. They found that death mechanisms for uidized bed
drying appear to be quite different from that reported for spray
drying.
The drying prole is extremely important in the drying process. Yuzgec et al. (2006) developed a non-linear predictive
control technique in order to determine the optimal drying
prole for a drying process in a batch uidized bed dryer. Simple drying models were also developed for industrial scale,
batch uidized bed drying of granular bakers yeast (Mustafa
et al., 2006; Hocalar et al., 2006). However, it is difcult to
develop an accurate model for the process. For a more predictive model, diffusive transport limitation of moisture inside
the granules should be considered. It requires mathematical
description of the distribution of moisture and temperature
inside the granules.
The purpose of this study was to maximize the activity
and viability of bakers yeast in an industrial continuous uidized bed dryer by optimization of its operational conditions.
The effects of yeast loading rate and temperatures of different
zones of the dryer were studied.

2.

Materials and methods

2.1.

Cultivation of fresh yeast

Saccharomyces cerevisiae CHY1102 (Klarmayeh, Iran) was used


in this study. A loop full of the yeast from agar plates was
used to inoculate 150 ml medium in a 250 ml ask and cultivated for 24 h. It was then transferred to a 20-l ask with
10-l working volume and cultivated for 36 h. The culture was
then added to a 1.0 m3 fermentor containing molasses (110 g/l),
urea (0.85 g/l), di-ammonium phosphate (0.8 g/l), magnesium
sulfate (0.3 g/l), vitamin B1 (0.25 103 g/l), B5 (0.25 103 g/l),
and biotin (25 106 g/l) as nutrients, and cultivated aerobically for 14 h. The whole culture was then transferred to a
12 m3 fermentor with the same media composition as in the
smaller fermentor. After 8 h aerobic cultivation, the culture
was added to a 80 m3 seed fermentor. This fermentor operated in fed-batch and fed for 16 h. Then, the entire culture
was transferred to the main fermentor with 170 m3 volume,
and fed the nutrients in fed-batch mode for 12 h, while aer-

Yeast granules inlet

Outlet air

Dried yeast outlet

Zone 1 Zone 2
inlet
inlet
dryer air dryer air

Zone3
inlet
dryer air

Zone 4
inlet
dryer air

Fig. 1 Schematic representation of industrial continuous


uidized bed dryer.
ated continuously. The working volume of all the fermentors
was 7075% of their total volumes, and the temperature was
kept at 3032 C. The fermentors were continuously mixed
and aerated with 0.81 VVM (volume per unit volume of the
fermentor per minute). The yeast cells were then harvested,
separated by disk centrifuges (FESX, Alfa Laval, Sweden) in
order to obtain yeast cream. This cream was then kept in
storage tanks as commercial yeast cream, and pumped to a
cartridge lter press to reduce its water content to 6570%. It
was then granulated and sent to a continuous dryer.

2.2.

Continuous uidized bed drying of bakers yeast

A continuous industrial dryer (Vogelbusch, Austria) was used


in this study to decrease the moisture to 812% with dried
air. The dryer had four zones separated with moving (up and
down) weirs (Fig. 1). Each zone had a channel with a heat
exchanger to warm up the incoming air with steam. The operating temperature in the uidized bed was controlled with a
Programming Logic Controller (PLC). By feeding hot and unsaturated air to the dryer, the humidity content of the yeast was
removed. The dried yeast granules from the outlet of each zone
should have particular physical properties (Table 1), which
were adjusted by regulating the ow rate of compressed yeast
granules, height of weirs, and the inlet air ow rate. In order
to collect the samples at steady state conditions, the desired
condition was continuously applied for one hour prior to sampling.

2.3.

Experimental design

Several parameters affect the yeast drying, including loading


rate, inlet and outlet dryer air temperature, inlet dryer air ow,
and inlet and outlet yeast moisture. In order to decrease the
number of experiments, a response surface model based on
an L18 reduced factorial design was used (NIST, 2006). The

Table 1 Physical properties and operation parameters of the continuous dryer.


Property
2

Area (m )
Inlet air temperature ( C)
Outlet air temperature ( C)
Inlet air ow (m3 /h)
Inlet yeast (D.S.%)
Outlet yeast (D.S.%)

Zone 1

Zone 2

Zone 3

Zone 4

2.8
100120
3234
24,000
3235
5060

2.8
80100
3133
22,000
5060
6575

3.6
6080
3032
21,000
6575
7785

4.4
4060
2931
20,000
7785
8892

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food and bioproducts processing 9 0 ( 2 0 1 2 ) 5257

Table 2 Levels of parameters selected for optimization.


Parameter

Symbol

Yeast granules loading (kg/h)


Temperature of zone 1 ( C)
Temperature of zone 2 ( C)
Temperature of zone 3 ( C)
Temperature of zone 4 ( C)

L
T1
T2
T3
T4

Level 1
300
34
33
32
31

Level 2

Level 3

350
33
32
31
30

400
32
31
30
29

Table 3 Design structure (L18 orthogonal array) and experimental results.a


Trial
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
a

T1

T2

T3

T4

Activity 1
(cm3 CO2 /h)

Activity 2
(cm3 CO2 /h)

Viability 1 (%)

Viability 2 (%)

300
300
300
350
350
350
400
400
400
300
300
300
350
350
350
400
400
400

34
33
32
34
33
32
34
33
32
34
33
32
34
33
32
34
33
32

33
32
31
33
32
31
32
31
33
31
33
32
32
31
33
31
33
32

32
31
30
31
30
32
32
31
30
30
32
31
30
32
31
31
30
32

31
30
29
30
29
31
29
31
30
30
29
31
31
30
29
29
31
30

570
610
640
640
680
660
640
670
620
640
600
650
650
660
650
660
630
630

600
590
650
620
670
650
650
660
630
620
620
650
630
680
640
670
640
650

59.9
66.35
67.88
72.84
75.51
73.39
73.94
73.85
69.9
70.86
73.21
67.98
71.03
74.13
73.85
72.51
72.12
72.96

60.24
66.11
68.42
72.26
76.59
72.81
73.64
74.73
68.74
72.74
72.43
66.88
69.77
75.47
74.55
73.21
71.38
71.42

1 and 2 indexes for activity and viability indicate the results for two separate replications.

yeast granules loading rate and the bed temperature of four


different zones of the dryer were selected as factors in this
study. Three levels for each of these variables were selected
using information from previous studies and experience in
the current operating process (Table 2). The L18 orthogonal
array corresponding to the factors with 18 rows for the possible combination of factor levels is shown in Table 3. For the
experiments with 5 factors at three levels, the L18 orthogonal
array can estimate the main and quadratic effects for the factors and 12 parameters, in which 7 degrees of freedom left for
estimation of the residual variance. The selected design was
expected to optimize the selected parameters with a minimum number of experiments. However, it does not provide the
best estimate for the interaction effects. The data was modeled as an additive model with quantitative factors (cofactors).
The information obtained can be used to remove factors with
minor or insignicant effect from further studies, where estimation of full quadratic model including interaction effects
is performed using a fewer number of factors. The software
package Minitab (Minitab Inc., USA) was used for statistical
modeling, analyses, and optimizing of the experimental data.

2.4.

Cells activity and viability analyses

The most important quality characteristic of bakers yeast


was its activity (gassing power) and viability. These properties
were measured off-line by laboratory analyses. Fermentation
activity of the yeast means the leavening ability or CO2 production of yeast cells in dough. Dough with 140 g our, 80 ml
solution (25 g NaCl and 40 g sucrose in 1000 potable water),
and 1.0 g dried yeast was mixed for 5 min and placed in the
fermentograph lacuna (SJA, Switzerland) for 1.0 h, and the pro-

duced CO2 was recorded. The cell viability was measured using
the Methylene Blue dye staining method (Grifn et al., 2001).
All experiments were duplicated and one sample from each
experiment was collected and analyzed. The results shown
are the average of these duplications with a standard deviation of less than 4% for the yeast activities and 5% for their
viabilities.

3.

Results and discussion

Bakers yeast was cultivated, harvested, centrifuged, and


ltered in an industrial yeast production plant, and then subjected to an industrial continuous uidized-bed dryer with
four drying zones (Fig. 1). Minor improvements in quality of
products on an industrial scale can lead to a considerable
economic improvement. It is much easier to work and optimize the condition in a laboratory or bench scale compared to
industrial scale optimization. However, there are many effective parameters in industrial scale processes that cannot be
considered in laboratory or even bench scale optimization. On
the other hand, the industrial processes are more complicated
and sensitive, and it is extremely expensive if the changing
conditions lead to the product being wasted. Therefore, it is
necessary to work in the applicable and acceptable range of
parameters. Furthermore, special care should also be taken in
order to keep the quality of the products during the experiments. These facts were considered in the current study, for
optimization of the uidized bed dryer. As an acceptable rule
in the plant, it was necessary to have a higher activity than
550 cm3 CO2 /h and higher viability than 60%. Fortunately, none
of the selected experiments resulted in the failure of the products.

55

food and bioproducts processing 9 0 ( 2 0 1 2 ) 5257

78

680

76
660
Activity (cm3 CO2/h)

74

Viability (%)

72
70
68
66
64

640

620

600

62
60
300

350
Loading rate (kg/h)

580

400

Fig. 2 Averages of yeast cells viability at the end of dryer


at 300, 350 and 400 kg/h loading rates (the lines indicate
95% condence interval for the mean values).
In spite of narrow variations in the dryer zones temperatures (Table 1), they had great impacts on the viability and
activity of the dried yeasts. In selection of adjustable parameters, the operability and industrial limitations was considered.
Three levels for yeast granules loading rates and three levels
for zones temperatures were selected (Table 2). The levels of
these factors and the corresponding results of the dried cell
activity and viability are presented in Table 3.
The results indicate that temperature, in the selected
range, does not show signicant effects on yeast viability,
while temperature of zone 2 showed some effects on activity
of the product. The yeast enters zone 1 with 7568% moisture and leaves it with less than 50% moisture. In the second
zone, the activity of the yeast, with less than 50% moisture,
seems to be more sensitive to the temperature. Although
there were narrow variations of zone temperatures (Table 1),
it had a great impact on the viability and activity of the dried
yeasts.
The effect of loading rate on yeast cell viability is presented
in Fig. 2. The highest cell viability was found at 350 kg/h loading rate. An ANOVA analysis of the results (Table 4) suggests
that only the yeast granules loading rate has a statistically signicant effect on the cell viability. The loading rate was also
effective on the yeast activity (Fig. 3). The average yeast activity at 350 kg/h loading rate was higher than that of 300 and
400 kg/h loading rates. An ANOVA analysis of the cells activity
(Table 4) reveals that the only factors which have signicant
effects on yeast activity were yeast granules loading rate (L)
and T2 zone temperature (cf. Table 4). The estimated regression coefcients (Table 5) show that L and T2 have signicant
linear terms, and L also has a signicant quadratic effect.

300

350
Loading rate (kg/h)

400

Fig. 3 Average yeast activity at 300, 350 and 400 kg/h


loading rates in 18 trials (the lines indicate 95% condence
interval for the mean values).
Table 5 Estimated regression coefcients that affect the
yeast activity.
Term

Coefcient

T-value

P-value

Constant
L
T1
T2
T3
T4
L*L
T1 * T1
T2 * T2
T3 * T3
T4 * T4

653.889
12.917
5.417
16.667
3.750
4.583
19.583
4.583
3.333
4.583
10.417

58.007
3.103
1.301
4.004
0.901
1.101
2.716
0.636
0.462
0.636
1.445

0.000
0.017
0.234
0.005
0.398
0.307
0.030
0.545
0.658
0.545
0.192

Table 6 Optimum operating conditions.


Factor

Parameter

L
T1
T2
T3
T4

Level

Loading rate
Zone 1 temperature
Zone 2 temperature
Zone 3 temperature
Zone 4 temperature

350
33
31
31
29

There can be different factors responsible for these effects


of loading rates. Since the capacity of the plant is constant
and the dryer operates in continuous mode of operation, the
retention time in the dryer should be adjusted with the ow
rate. Therefore, the retention time for the higher loading rate is
shorter than that for the lower loading rates. In higher loading
rate of 400 kg/h, the yeast passed through the different zones
faster than in the lower loading rates. It seems that the yeasts

Table 4 ANOVA analysis of loading rate on average cell viability and activity.
Source

L
T1
T2
T3
T4
Error
Total

Degree of
Freedom

2
2
2
2
2
7
17

Viability

Activity

Sequential
sums of
squares

Adjusted
means
squares

F-value

P-value

Sequential
sums of
squares

Adjusted
means
squares

F-value

P-value

111.781
19.517
17.363
0.062
36.193
65.542
250.459

55.891
9.759
8.682
0.031
18.096
9.363

5.97
1.04
0.93
0.00
1.93

0.031
0.402
0.439
0.997
0.215

3536.1
436.1
3377.8
252.8
686.1
1455.6
9744.4

1768.1
218.1
1688.9
126.4
343.1
207.9

8.50
1.05
8.12
0.61
1.65

0.013
0.400
0.015
0.571
0.259

56

food and bioproducts processing 9 0 ( 2 0 1 2 ) 5257

Table 7 Estimated regression coefcients for yeast activity and viability by full quadratic model.
Term

Activity
Coefcient
2995.28
4.94167
187.917
0.007833
3.333
0.0250

Constant
L
T2
L*L
T2 * T2
L * T2

Viability

T-value

P-value

Coefcient

T-value

P-value

81.063
2.920
3.768
2.556
0.435
0.231

0.000
0.013
0.003
0.025
0.671
0.821

254.477
0.9361
20.8750
0.0013833
0.294167
0.00245

43.775
2.516
1.298
2.176
0.185
0.109

0.000
0.027
0.219
0.050
0.856
0.915

Table 8 Dry solid content (D.S.), activity, and viability of


yeast in optimum conditions in the dryer.a
Zone

D.S. (%)

Activity
(cm3 CO2 /h)

Viability (%)

1
2
3
4

54
72
84
90

470
555
600
660

95.82
87.41
80.73
76.4

These data are averages of four replications and the samples took
at the outlet of each zone.

could not tolerate the sudden moisture reduction shocks. On


the other hand, the ow rate of the hot air was constant in
the dryer and yeast could be dried faster in the rst zone at
the lower loading rates. This could be a reason for the lower
activity and viability of the yeast in the lower loading rate
of 300 kg/h. However, further investigations are necessary to
establish the reason.
Since no interaction effects are present in the current
model, the optimum operation conditions are obtained by
maximizing each factor separately. These results in operating
points (32 resp. 33) for the T1 temperature depend on whether
yeast activity or viability is considered. The differences for the
predicted responses are insignicant compared to the experimental errors. The operating conditions for the verication
experiments are presented in Table 6. The statistical estimations of the verication experiments are presented in Table 7,
and dry solid content, activity, and viability of yeast in these
experiments presented in Table 8.
Before estimating the predicted activity value at these
operation conditions, the model was recalculated as a full
quadratic model using only factors L and T2. The estimated
response surface is given by the following equation:


y = aconst + aL L + aT2 T2 + aL,L L2 + aT2,T2 T22 + aL,T2 LT2

(1)

where L is the loading rate (kg/h), T2 is the temperature ( C)


of the second zone, and aij are the coefcients. The coefcients were then calculated by least squares regression, and
are given in Table 7. Evaluating this equation at the optimal
values of L = 350 and T2 = 31 C gives an estimated optimum
activity value in cm3 CO2 /h. The estimated standard error at
this operating point was calculated (using Minitab ) to be 8.1,
and the corresponding 95% condence interval for the mean
activity was 668 18 cm3 CO2 /h. The same model was used
to estimate viability with coefcients given in Table 7, giving a 95% condence interval of 74.8 3.7% for the predicted
optimal mean viability.
Under proposed optimum conditions, four conrmation
tests were carried out, in which yeast activity of 660 10 cm3
CO2 /h and viability of 76.4 0.6% were obtained. All these values are in the respective condence intervals, showing a good

agreement between model and experimental results for the


optimal operating point.
The results are in accordance with the previous reports
(Bayrock and Ingledew, 1997a,b), which showed that the viability of the compressed yeasts in a single zone uidized bed
dryer was not signicantly affected by the drying temperature used during the warming-up and constant-rate drying
periods. The highest cells viability in the current work was
also similar to the best ndings of Bayrock and Ingledew
(1997a,b). The highest activity of the current study, which was
obtained after optimization, is similar to the results of the best
activity obtained by Hocalar et al. (2006). They optimized the
operating parameters of an industrial single-zone batch uidized bed dryer, and reported the yeast activity of 660 cm3
CO2 /h.
Grabowski et al. (1997) compared both batch uidized bed
and spouted bed dryer and their combinations on product
quality for the drying of bakers yeast. They observed that
high moisture yeast particles made their uidization very difcult, whereas uidization of pre-dried yeast particles was
more effortless. Thus, they suggested spouted bed drying for
the rst stage, and uidized bed drying for the second stage,
or spouted bed drying for the entire process. However, in the
industrial process, which was used in this study, a lter press
was used to reduce the water content of the yeast to 6570%.
Therefore, there was no need for the spouted bed drying and
the uidized bed dryer could work efciently.

4.

Conclusions

It can be concluded that by optimization of drying conditions,


it was possible to reach a high activity of the dried bakers yeast
up to 660 10 cm3 CO2 /h, as well as high yeast cell viability up
to 76%, which were 12% and 27% higher than the respective
activity and viability of the yeast in normal operating conditions of the plant. If the temperature of the dryer is selected in
a suitable range, the most important parameter affecting the
quality of the bakers yeast is the loading rate of the dryer.

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