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The objectives of this experiment are to determine the drying rate of the sample using
tray dryers and to learn how to operate the tray dryers. In this experiment, the main apparatus
used is Tray Drier Training Unit CE130 and the sample used is the pandan leaves. At first, the
mass of both drying plates and pandan leaves were weighed before the pandan leaves were
placed on the tray dryers. The initial humidity, temperature and velocity of air flow were also
recorded. The temperatures, mass of sample, air humidity and velocity were then recorded
every 5 minutes. At the end of the experiment , the moisture content and the drying rate were
calculated along with three graphs being plotted for a clearer observations of the experiment.
Based on the first graph plotted which is mass of the sample versus time taken, it is shown
that as time increases, the mass of the sample decreases. From the second graph, which is
moisture content versus drying time, the moisture content in the sample decreases as time
increases. However, according to Graph 3, the drying rate start to fluctuate as the time
increases. This shows that the drying rate does not depend of time.

Drying is one of the unit operations used in industry nowadays especially in food
industry. It is the process of removing volatile substances (e.g., moisture) to yield a solid
product. It involves the transfer of energy, mostly as heat from the surrounding environment
to evaporate the surface moisture. Air heater and fan are usually used industry to pass air over
the product that is being dried. Dried products preserve well because the moisture content is
so low that spoilage or organism cannot grow.
There are various types of dryers that are being used in industry. One of them is tray
dryers. Tray dryers are made of trays held in a cabinet, which is connected to a source of
heated air by gas, diesel or biomass. The food, which is to be dried, is spread out, generally
quite thinly, on trays which the drying takes place. Heating may be by an air current sweeping
across the trays, by conduction from heated trays or heated shelves on which the trays lie, or
by radiation from heated surfaces. Most tray dryers are heated by air, which also removes the
moist vapours.
The temperature of ambient air is controlled by thermostat which is usually set in the
range of 50 to 700C. The air enters the bottom of the chamber below the trays and then rises,
through the trays of food being dried, and exits from an opening in the top of the chamber.
Fresh air is allowed to enter the cabinet and moist air is exhausted by using a humidistat to
control an exhaust fan and air intake shutters. The dryer trays are tight-fitting in the cabinet to
prevent air from bypassing the material to be dried. Depending upon the food and the desired
final moisture, drying time may be of the order of 10 or even 20 hours.
Tray dryers require low capital and maintenance costs but have relatively poor control
and produces more variable product quality. However, in recirculation designs, the moisture
laden air, after evaporating water from food, would have to be dried before being undergo
recirculation, or else it would soon become saturated and further drying of the food would
stop. In such a case passing it through a desiccant such as a bed of silica gel, or condensing
moisture out by passing the moist air over cold plates or coils could dry the air. Thermometers
are installed with the sensitive elements directly in the main air current approaching the
drying trays, and often also in the air current leaving trays.

To :

Determine the drying rate of the sample using tray dryers


Learn how to operate the tray dryers