Drying of persimmon: Mathematical model for diffusivity as a simultaneous function of moisture content and shrinkage
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Fresh persimmon has a high moisture content (about 85% wet basis) making it highly perishable and requiring adequate drying conditions to obtain an acceptable dehydrated product. Drying kinetics of persimmon cv. Rama Forte was studied in a fixed bed dryer at temperatures ranging from 50 to 80 degreesC and air velocity of 0.8 m/s. Shrinkage during drying was described by a linear correlation with respect to water content. Evaluation of effective diffusivity as a function of moisture content, with undergoing shrinkage during drying was based on Fourier series solution of Fick's diffusion equation. Effective diffusivity values at moisture contents between 0.09 - 4.23 kg water/kg dry matter were found to be in the range of 2.6 x 10(-10) m(2)/s to 5.4 x 10(-10) m(2)/s, and its dependence on air drying temperature was represented by an Arrhenius type equation. Activation energy increased with decreasing water content in persimmons.