Dehydration (Drying

) 
Drying of foods is an important food processing operation used to preserve foods.  The distinguishing features between drying and concentration are the final level of water and nature of the product.  Concentration leaves a liquid food  Whereas drying typically produces product with water content sufficiently low to give solid food.

Reasons for drying foods 
Drying is used to remove water from foods for two reasons:  to prevent (or inhibit) micro-organisms and hence preserve the food.  to reduce the weight and bulk of food for cheaper transport and storage.  Historically, there was a need to preserve foods for longer times so that food was available during times of limited food production or availability.  Hunters needed a technique to preserve meat for more than a few days to ensure a continuous food supply. In the same manner, we have techniques that allow us to preserve foods as they are harvested, so that we can enjoy them at later times. 

One of the easiest ways to preserve foods is to remove water, since  microorganisms need water to survive and grow.  many chemical reactions require water to proceed.  Early hunters dried their meat to help maintain a more continuous food supply.  Nowadays, we dry foods for the same reason: to provide a continuous supply of foods that we can enjoy at any time.  Other reasons for drying foods  Removal of water leaves a product reduced in weight and often in bulk. This reduces shipping costs and makes the food supply more economical. Dried foods also provide convenience. Dried convenience foods may be used for special expedition--type (military) foods where weight is a major concern. 

There are many methods and technologies by which we can dehydrate foods.  We must first understand the nature of water in food products to appreciate (realize fully) the difficulties in producing highquality dried products.  Removal of water from foods is not a difficult task. However, removing the water in such a way that the product regains its initial form when rehydrated is not so easy.

EFFECTS OF DRYING ON PRODUCT QUALITY 
After dehydrating the food cannot reach the original quality.  There is always some change that gives a loss of quality in the product.  The goal is to minimize these changes, while optimizing process efficiency and minimizing costs.  Several types of changes can occur during drying.  Two main problems are  loss and change of flavors, and  change in physical qualities of dried products.

Effect on flavor 
One problem with dried foods is that the flavor of the rehydrated product is not the same as that of the original.  During drying, flavor compounds that are typically more volatile than water are removed in the drying process.  The physical forces that cause water molecules to be removed from the food during drying also cause volatile compounds (alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, etc.) to be removed.

burnt flavor
‡ Dried products have less of these volatile flavoring compounds than the original starting material. ‡ In addition, the rates of chemical reactions are enhanced at the elevated temp., and many of these reactions generate undesired flavor compounds. ‡ For example, the browning reaction (between reducing sugars and proteins) is enhanced and generates a burnt flavor. (reconstituted milk from a dried powder)

Browning 
Other chemical reactions may also take place during drying. Browning occurs in many foods which results in color changes.  Protein denaturation can occur during drying, which causes increased viscosity  Thermal degradation of vitamins and proteins may also influence the nutritional status of dried products.

The extent of these changes depends on the nature of the drying process. Some types of dryers produce products having superior properties on reconstitution. The instant coffee spray-dried and freeze-dried is different. Since freeze-drying does not involve a vapor-liquid interface, the volatile flavor and aroma compounds are not lost during drying, and freeze-dried products have higher quality.

Dehydrating Fruits And Vegetables 
Dehydration of fruit and vegetables is one of the oldest forms of food preservation techniques and consists primarily of establishments engaged in sun drying or artificially dehydrating fruits and vegetables.  By reducing both the weight and volume of the final product dehydration of fruits and vegetables lowers: o the cost of packaging o storing, and o transportation

Process Description 
Dried or dehydrated fruits and vegetables can be produced by a variety of processes. 

These processes differ primarily  by the type of drying method used, which depends on the type of food.  by the type of characteristics of the final product. In general, dried or dehydrated fruits and vegetables undergo the following process steps: o Predrying treatments, such as size selection, peeling, and color preservation o Drying or dehydration, using natural or artificial methods; and o Postdehydration treatments, such as sweating, inspection, and packaging.

I. Predrying Treatments Predrying treatments prepare the raw product for drying or dehydration and include raw product (a) preparation and (b) color preservation.

(a) Raw product preparation includes o selection and sorting o washing o peeling (some fruits and vegetables) o cutting into the appropriate form, and o blanching (for some fruits and most vegetables) Fruits and vegetables are selected; sorted according to size, maturity, and soundness; and then washed to remove dust, dirt, insect matter, mold spores, plant parts, and other material that might contaminate or affect the color, aroma, or flavor of the fruit or vegetable.  Peeling or removal of any undesirable parts follows washing. The raw product can be peeled o by hand (generally not used in the United States due to high labor costs)

o with lye or alkali solution o with dry caustic and mild abrasion o with steam pressure o with high-pressure washers, or o with flame peelers For fruits, only apples, pears, bananas, and pineapples are usually peeled before dehydration.  Vegetables normally peeled include beets, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, onions, and garlic.  Prunes and grapes are dipped in an alkali solution to remove the natural waxy surface coating which enhances the drying process.  Next, the product is cut into the appropriate shape or form (i. e., halves, wedges, slices, cubes, nuggets, etc.), although some items, such as cherries and corn, may by-pass this operation.

Flame peeling: A flame peeler utilizes a conveyor belt to transport and rotate the material through a furnace heated to temperature above 1000 C. The skin (root hairs) is burned off and then removed by high-pressure water sprays. Flame peeling is used, for example, for peeling onions. 

Some fruits and vegetables are blanched by immersion in hot water (95 to 100 C [203 to 212 F]) or exposure to steam. (b) Color preservation  The final step in the predehydration treatment is color preservation, also known as sulfuring.  The majority of fruits are treated with sulfur dioxide (SO2) for its antioxidant and preservative effects.  The presence of SO2 is very effective in retarding the browning of fruits, which occurs when the enzymes are not inactivated by the sufficiently high heat normally used in drying.  In addition to preventing browning, SO2 treatment reduces the destruction of carotene and ascorbic acid, which are the important nutrients for fruits. 

Sulfuring dried fruits must be closely controlled so that enough sulfur is present to maintain the physical and nutritional properties of the product throughout its expected shelf life, but not so large that it adversely affects flavor.  Some fruits, such as apples, are treated with solutions of sulfite (sodium sulfite and sodium bisulfite in approximately equal proportions) before dehydration.  Although dried fruits commonly use SO2 gas to prevent browning, this treatment is not practical for vegetables. Most vegetables (potatoes, cabbage, and carrots) are treated with sulfite solutions to retard enzymatic browning.  In addition to color preservation, the presence of a small amount of sulfite in blanched, cut vegetables improves storage stability and makes it possible to increase the drying temperature during dehydration,

thus decreasing drying time and increasing the drier capacity without exceeding the tolerance for heat damage. II. Drying or dehydration 
Drying or dehydration is the removal of the majority of water contained in the fruit or vegetable and is the primary stage in the production of dehydrated fruits and vegetables.  Several drying methods are commercially available and the selection of the optimal method is determined by: o Quality requirements o Raw material characteristics, and o Economic factors 

There are three types of drying processes:  Sun and solar drying  Atmospheric dehydration including:  Stationary or batch processes (kiln, tower, and cabinet driers) and  Continuous processes (tunnel, continuous belt, belt-trough, fluidized-bed, explosion puffing*, foam-mat*, spray, drum, and microwave heated driers) and  Subatmospheric dehydration (vacuum shelf, vacuum belt, vacuum drum, and freeze driers) 
Sun

and solar drying 

Sun drying (used almost exclusively for fruit) and solar drying (used for fruit and vegetables) of foods use the power of the sun to remove the moisture from the product.

Explosion puffing* 
In explosion puffing the partially dried (15 to 35 wt.-% moisture) vegetable pieces are conveyed into a puffing chamber (³gun´: the chamber has a quick opening lid) which is brought to a predetermined pressure. When the water contained within the pieces is heated above its atmospheric boiling point in the gun, pressure builds up and when the pieces are instantly discharged, the flushing of water vapors from within each piece creates a porous structure. The porous structure permits much faster dehydration and rapid rehydration of the dried product. Carrot and potato cubes made by this method rehydrate in 5-6 min. by simmering in water as against 30-60 min. for conventionally air dried product. (Used for rice and wheat breakfast cereals)

Foam-mat drying* 
Concentrated liquids have be dried by heated air on conveyor driers, using a technique known as foam mate drying. The liquid is made into a foam, by the addition of a small amount, 1% or less, of a foaming agent, such as soya protein, albumin, fatty acid ester of sucrose and glycerol monostearate, and the incorporation of air or other gases by injection or mixing. The foam is spread in thin layers or strips on a wire mesh belt and conveyed through the drier.  relatively rapid drying can be achieved, of the order of 1 hour in air at 100 C, yielding a porous dry product with good rehydration properties.

Microwave Drying 
Microwave heating occurs between 300 MHz and 300 GHz (wavelength 1mm to 1m). Microwave heating of a substance by electromagnetic energy operating in that frequency range. Microwaves themselves do not represent heat but absorbed energy is converted into heat inside the product. The heating of foods by microwave energy is accomplished both by the absorption of microwave energy by dipole water molecules and ionic components (often salt) of food. As the energy enters the foods, dipolar water molecules try to align in the electric field orientation. They oscillate around their axis, generating heat within the food, resulting in dehydration. 

When ionized compounds are subjected to a microwave field, they randomly collide with non-ionized groups in an electric field. The kinetic energy of these ions is transmitted into heat during the collisions. The depth of the material and type of material being exposed also affects penetration. The waves bounce from wall to wall, until the product absorbs eventually all of the energy. In this manner, the drying rate is increased greatly. This type of heating is highly efficient; and power utilization efficiencies are generally greater than 70 %.  Important commercial aspects include the ability to maintain color and quality of the natural food. This has been found prevalent in potato chips. 

Sun drying of fruit crops is limited to climates with hot sun and dry atmosphere, and to certain fruits, such as prunes, grapes, dates, figs, apricots, and pears. These crops are processed in substantial quantities without much technical aid by simply spreading the fruit on the ground, racks, trays, or roofs and exposing them to the sun until dry. Advantages of this process are its simplicity and its small capital investment. Disadvantages include complete dependence on the elements and moisture levels no lower than 15 to 20 percent (corresponding to a limited shelf life). Solar drying utilizes black-painted trays, solar trays, collectors, and mirrors to increase solar energy and accelerate drying. 

Atmospheric

dehydration 

Atmospheric forced-air driers artificially dry fruits and vegetables o by passing heated air with controlled relative humidity over the food to be dried, or o by passing the food to be dried through the heated air, and is the most widely used method of fruit and vegetable dehydration. Various devices are used to control air circulation and recirculation. o Stationary or batch processes include kiln, tower (or stack), and cabinet driers. o Continuous processes are used mainly for vegetable dehydration and include tunnel, continuous belt, belt trough, fluidized-bed, explosion puffing, foam-mat, spray, drum, and microwave-heated driers. 

Tunnel driers are the most flexible, efficient, and widely used dehydration system available commercially.  Subatmospheric dehydration Subatmospheric (or vacuum) dehydration occurs at low air pressures and includes vacuum shelf, vacuum drum, vacuum belt, and freeze driers. The main purpose of vacuum drying is to enable the removal of moisture at less than the boiling point under ambient conditions.  Because of the high installation and operating costs of vacuum driers, this process is used for drying raw material that may deteriorate as a result of oxidation or may be modified chemically as a result of exposure to air at elevated temperatures.  There are two categories of vacuum driers: 

In the first category, moisture in the food is evaporated from the liquid to the vapor stage, and includes vacuum shelf, vacuum drum, and vacuum belt driers.  In the second category of vacuum driers, the moisture of the food is removed from the product by sublimination, which is converting ice directly into water vapor. The advantages of freeze drying are o High flavor retention o Maximum retention of nutritional value o Minimal damage to the product texture and structure o Little change in product shape and color, and o A finished product with an open structure that allows fast and complete rehydration 

Disadvantages include

o High capital investment, o High processing costs, and o Need for special packing to avoid oxidation and moisture gain in the finished product. III. Postdehydration treatments 
Treatments of the dehydrated product vary according to the type of fruit or vegetable and the intended use of the product.  These treatments may include  Sweating  Screening 

Inspection,  Instantization treatments, and  Packaging.  Sweating involves holding the dehydrated product in bins or boxes to equalize the moisture content.  Screening removes dehydrated pieces of unwanted size, usually called "fines".  Inspection: The dried product is inspected to remove foreign materials, discolored pieces, or other imperfections such as skin, carpel, or stem particles.  Instantization treatments are used to improve the rehydration rate of the low-moisture product. 

Packaging is common to most all dehydrated products and has a great deal of influence on the shelf life of the dried product. Packaging of dehydrated fruits and vegetables must  Protect the product against moisture, light, air, dust, microflora, foreign odor, insects, and rodents  Provide strength and stability to maintain original product size, shape, and appearance throughout storage, handling, and marketing  Consist of materials that are approved for contact with food. Cost is also an important factor in packaging. Package types include cans, plastic bags, drums, bins, and cartons, and depend on the end-use of the product.

Water activity
‡ Water activity (aw) is defined as the ratio of the vapor pressure of water measured at the food surface (Pw) to the saturation vapor pressure of pure water at the same temperature (Pwº)

P a ! o P

Water activity
‡ For a cup of water, the vapor pressure over the surface is measured as the saturation vapor pressure, and aw is 1. When there are solutes in the water such as sugars, salts, etc. the vapor pressure over the water surface is lower than the saturation vapor pressure, and aw is reduced to some value less than 1. The reduction in water activity depends on the type of solutes present and their levels.

Water Activity
‡ For food products, the water activity is generally less than 1. aw is related to the moisture content of the food, the types and concentrations of different solutes, and the structure or physical characteristics of the food.

DRYING METHODS
‡ 1.Direct Contact Dryers ‡ Sun Dryer/Bin Dryer/Kiln Dryer/ Tray or Cabinet Dryer/Tunnel Dryer/Belt or Conveyor Dryer/ Fluidized Bed Dryer/Rotary Air Dryer/Spray Dryer. ‡ 2.Indirect Contact Dryers ‡ Drum Dryer ‡ 3.Infrared or Dielectric Dryers ‡ Infrared Dryers/Microwave Dryers.

Tray or Cabinet Dryer
‡ The food product placed in a pan is placed inside a drying chamber with hot air blowing across the product until drying is complete. Some of the hot air used for drying may be recirculated through the dryer to conserve energy However, increased relative humidity of the recirculated air decreases dryer efficiency.

Tunnel Dryer
‡ The food product is loaded onto trays that are placed into carts. The carts are input at one end of the tunnel dryer and move through to the outlet. Air blowing within the tunnel causes drying at a specified rate, so that the food product reaches the exit on completion of drying. (1) cocurrent; (2) countercurrent; or (3) mixed flow,

Belt or Conveyor Dryer
‡ Product may also be moved through a dryer by placing it on a belt or conveyor. In order to extend the time within a conveyor dryer, a series of conveyors may be arranged one above the other. In this case, product drops from an upper conveyor to a lower conveyor. air flow can be through the conveyor and through the bed of food product laying on the conveyor.

Fluidized Bed Dryer
‡ Air flow through a bed of product is sufficient to lift the product. Since there is intimate contact between air and product drying rates in this type of dryer are quite good. This type of dryer is limited to granulated powders, or small pieces of product. The air velocity depends on particle size, density.

Rotary Air Dryer
‡ These dryers are typically arranged as horizontal cylinders that rotate along their main axis. Wet product enters one end of the dryer and moves towards the other end by a combination of gravity and the baffle arrangement within the cylinder. As the cylinder rotates, air forced into the cylinder blows across the product as it tumbles, to provide effective contact between air and product.

SPRAY DRYING
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Atomization Air Handling Dryer Chamber Powder Separation

Atomization
‡ Atomization produces a cloud of droplets with very large surface area for drying. ‡ High pressure nozzle: droplet size is controlled by pressure of the fluid food against the nozzle. ‡ Centrifugal atomizer: Liquid food is pumped into a spinning disk, where it is accelerated by centrifugal force and expelled from the ends of the disk-shaped atomizer, become a cloud of droplets .

Air spray atomization with high velocity air

Centrifugal atomization

Air Handling
‡ Ambient air is taken in through a vent and heated prior to circulation into the drying chamber. Heating can be accomplished in several ways. Air can be passed either through steam coils or an electric heater to attain elevated temperatures, typically between l50 and 500 .

Dryer Chamber
‡ In the residence time of droplets in the spray drying chamber, the droplets go from a moisture content in the range of about 40% to only about 5-10%. ‡ The food droplets are sprayed at the top of the chamber and fall down to the bottom by gravity. Both air and food droplets enter the chamber at the top and fall to the bottom of it, where air is separated from dry powder and the product is removed from the dryer.

Powder Separation
‡ Primary separation of powder is accomplished by gravitational setting of the heavier powder particles. Separation of air and finer powder particles is usually accomplished in a cyclone device. The stream is circulated tangentially into the cyclone separator. Centrifugal force causes the particles to segregate from the air and settle to the bottom of the conical separator. ‡ A textile or bag filter is sometimes used.

FREEZE DRYING
‡ Moisture is removed from the solid state (ice) directly to the vapor state by sublimation. Drying actually occurs in two steps, primary and secondary drying stages. It is in the primary stage that water is removed by sublimation, whereas vaporization of unfrozen liquid water molecules occurs in the secondary stage of drying.

Product quality of Freeze Drying
‡ The original structure of the food is maintained and flavor retention in is excellent. ‡ The cost of freeze drying is very high.

Steps in Freeze Drying
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Freezing. Primary Drying. Secondary Drying. Heat and Mass Transfer in Freeze Drying

Primary Drying
‡ Sublimation of ice is accomplished by controlling the vacuum level in the freeze dryer and through careful heat input. A high vacuum is desired to enhance sublimation rate. ‡ Introduction of heat is to supply energy to a plate on which the food is sitting (conduction heating), while also providing a radiation source above the product.

Sublimation Front
‡ The ice recedes into the food product as drying occurs. This boundary between frozen and dried product is called the sublimation front. Heat must be transferred into the product to this front to promote sublimation, and water vapor must then be removed by mass transfer through the dried product

Secondary Drying
‡ Once all the ice is sublimed out of the frozen food, the secondary drying process begins. Heat is continually added, but at a slower rate since moisture loss occurs only by diffusion of water molecules out of the freeze--dried matrix.

Collapse Behavior
‡ Rapid heat addition causes the temperature of the product to exceed its collapse temperature. product becomes sufficiently flowable that it "collapses!' During collapse, the pockets where ice crystals have sublimed disappear as the food slowly flows into these regions. This causes product to have higher density and reduces its ability to be rehydrate.

Vapor Condensor
‡ A condenser collects the vapors as they exit the freeze dryer to enhance efficiency and prevent fouling of the vacuum pump.

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