Modelling the Drying Characteristics and Kinetics of Hot Air-Drying of Unblanched Whole Red Pepper and Blanched Bitter Leaf Slices

Samuel Enahoro Agarry


The objective of this study was to investigate the drying characteristics and kinetics of red pepper and bitter leaf under the influence of different drying temperatures. The drying experiments were carried out at dry bulb temperature of 35, 45, 55 and 75oC, respectively in an oven dryer. The results showed that as drying temperature increased, drying rate also increased and the drying time decreased. It was observed that un-sliced red pepper and sliced bitter leaf would dry within 2.5-12 h and 1.67-7 h, respectively at temperature ranging from 75 to 35oC. The drying of red pepper and bitter leaf was both in the constant and falling rate period. Four semi-empirical mathematical drying models (Newton, Page, Henderson and Pabis, and Logarithmic models) were fitted to the experimental drying curves. The models were compared using the coefficient of determination (R^2) and the root mean square error (RMSE). The Page model has shown a better fit to the experimental drying data of red pepper and bitter leaf, respectively as relatively compared to other tested models. Moisture transport during drying was described by the application of Fick’s diffusion model and the effective moisture diffusivity was estimated. The value ranges from 15.69 to 84.79 × 10-9 m2/s and 0.294 to 1.263 × 10-9 m2/s for red pepper and bitter leaf, respectively. The Arrhenius-type relationship describes the temperature dependence of effective moisture diffusivity and was determined to be 37.11 kJ/mol and 32.86 kJ/mol for red pepper and bitter leaf, respectively. A correlation between the drying time and the heat transfer area was also developed.


Red pepper; Bitter leaf; Oven drying; Mathematical modelling; Effective moisture diffusivity.

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ISSN: 2148-127X

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