Viscoelastic behavior of persimmons dried at constant air temperature
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The viscoelastic behavior of dried persimmons at different air-drying temperatures and velocities was evaluated. Air temperatures and velocities were varied according to a second-order central composite design, with temperature ranging from 40degreesC to 70degreesC and air velocity from 0.8 to 2.0 m/s. After drying, persimmons were equilibrated at four different water activities: 0.432, 0.576, 0.625 and 0.751. The rheological behavior of dried and conditioned persimmons was studied under uniaxial compression-relaxation tests. Three different rheological models were fitted to the experimental relaxation curves: Maxwell, Generalized Maxwell and Peleg and Normand. Based on the root mean square of residuals, the Generalized Maxwell model showed the best fit and a regression analysis was applied to obtain response surfaces for the model parameters. The dependence of the rheological properties on water activity was also analysed. Results showed that only the linear effect of air temperature was significant at a 5% level on the equilibrium stress and relaxation times. In a general way, these parameters increased with increasing air temperature and decreasing water activity. (C) 2004 Swiss Society of Food Science and Technology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.