Michael O. Ashaolu1 and Julius O Akinbiyi
The study investigates the effects of varying chips sizes of plantain varieties during drying condition. The drying was carried out at 50, 60, 70 and 800C using convective air flowing at a velocity of 2.2 m/s. The experimental set up was performed in a processing and storage laboratory. The plantain samples werecut into equal sizes of thicknesses: 2cm, 3cm, 4cm, and 5cm for the two varieties used in the experiment. The moisture content decreases with drying time for the two varieties, but the drying period of each variety were not the same. The study further shows that drying rate was higher at 800C than 500C and that the entire drying process took place in the falling rate period. Drying time varied from one variety to the other depending on the initial moisture content, pretreatment and drying air temperatures. As expected the increase in drying temperature resulted in an increase in drying rate. The study indicates that the method of drying is more efficient on 2cm thickness than 5cm especially in Musa sapientumvariety of the banana. The Musa sapientumvarietyhad the highest drying rate than Dwarf Cavendish varietyin almost all temperatures and treatment variations. In this investigation, Newton’s law was used as a major equation to determine the moisture diffusivity in the two varieties.The obtained average value of effective moisture diffusivity ranged from 1.18 x 10-2 m2/s to 3.73 x 10-2 m2/s while the activation energy is 0.200 kJ/mol for temperature range from 50oC to 80oC.
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