|Pan, Zhongli - John|
Submitted to: American Society of Agri Engineers Special Meetings and Conferences Papers
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2004
Publication Date: 7/17/2005
Citation: Zheng, X., Jiang, Y., Pan, Z. 2005. Drying and Quality Characteristics of Different Components of Alfalfa. American Society of Agri Engineers Special Meetings and Conferences Paper No. 056185:1-11. Interpretive Summary: Fresh alfalfa must be dried to moisture content of 8~10% for safe storage. Chopped Alfalfa is a heterogeneous material consisting of leaves, coarse stems, stems with leaves attached and fine stems. Since the each component has different physical and chemical characteristics, this study investigated the relationship between the quality of end product and drying process of different components.
Technical Abstract: This study investigated the effect of air temperature (100°C – 200°C) and velocity (0.15m/s – 0.45m/s) on drying characteristics and quality of different alfalfa components. The chopped alfalfa components, including stems, crushed stems, crushed stems with attached leaves, and leaves were used for the study. The moisture losses under different drying conditions and times were measured. The quality of dried products, including color, protein, and fiber content was also examined. The leaves and uncrushed stems had the highest and lowest drying rates among the four components. The increase of drying temperature and air velocity resulted in higher drying rates of all components. But the increase also caused high difference in moisture contents of leaves and stems of dried stems with attached leaves. The activation energies of stems, crushed stems, crushed stems with attached leaves and leaves were 387.6, 346.6, 411.0, and 606.7 kJ/mol, respectively. Based on the test results, to achieve high drying rate and desirable product quality of alfalfa a combination of 160°C temperature and 0.3m/s air velocity is suggested.