Experimental study and modelling of the sublimation and desorption periods. for freeze drying of apple, banana and strawberry

Víctor A. Reale, Ricardo M. Torrez Irigoyen, Sergio A. Giner


Slices of fresh apple, banana and strawberry were frozen at –20°C and freeze-dried using a shelf temperature of 40°C. Theoretical expressions were proposed to predict vapor transfer kinetics during the primary and secondary drying stages. In the former, a model that predicts the sublimation rate as a function of time, considering the increasing dried layer thickness, was used, which improves greatly the sublimation time equation offered in several textbooks without adding much complexity. In the latter, an analytical solution of the unsteady state diffusion equation was applied. Permeabilities were determined for the primary drying model at an absolute pressure of about 30 Pa, though the relevant kinetic coefficient combines permeability and the mass of ice to sublime relative to the dry matter (sublimation kinetic coefficient). In the secondary drying stage, diffusion coefficients of vapor in the dried layer were in the order of 1E-09 m2 s-1 for pressures of about 3-5 Pa. In both periods, agreement of predicted and experimental values was more than satisfactory. A minimum freeze-drying time of 12, 6.8 and 8.7 h, considering a final moisture content of 4% w/w, was calculated for apple, banana and strawberry, respectively. Normalized drying curves showed a faster sublimation rate for banana, intermediate for strawberry and slowest for apple. On the other hand, desorption curves showed a faster desorption rate for apple, intermediate for banana and slower for strawberry. In each period, the ordering of the relevant kinetic coefficients (sublimation and diffusion coefficients, respectively) represented the ordering of experimental curves.


Freeze-drying; mathematical-model; apple; banana; strawberry

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