Comparative kinetic analysis of convective and vacuum dried Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. cladodes A., Singhal S., Rasane P., Kaur S., Kaur N., Singh J. (2019): Comparative kinetic analysis of convective and vacuum dried Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. cladodes. Res. Agr. Eng., 65: 1-6.
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Opuntia ficus-indica (Linnaeus) Miller more usually known as fodder palm or nopal belongs to family Cactaceae. In the present study, the drying behavior of the O. ficus-indica cladodes was observed. The study concentrates on comparatively studying two types of commercial drying methods viz., forced convective drying (tray drying) and vacuum drying to dry nopal cladodes at three different temperatures viz. 40, 50 and 60°C. The equilibrium moisture contents for forced convective drying was achieved at 540–720 min and for that of vacuum drying at 600–840 min. Three mathematical drying models for thin layer drying viz. Page, Lewis and Henderson-Pabis model were evaluated for both convective drying and vacuum drying. Statistical parameters such as the coefficient of determination (R2), root mean square error and reduced χ2 were used to fit the models. Page model was found to be satisfactory for both forced convective and vacuum drying of the nopal cladodes at 40 and 50°C respectively. Among these, two drying methods, forced convective drying method was found to be more suitable than the vacuum drying method for nopal cladodes on the basis of drying time and statistical parameters.

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