|PEKKE, MILLY - University Of California|
|ATUNGULU, GRIFFITHS - University Of Arkansas|
|SMITH, GART - University Of California|
|THOMPSON, JAMES - University Of California|
Submitted to: International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/2013
Publication Date: 9/5/2013
Citation: Pekke, M.A., Pan, Z., Atungulu, G.G., Smith, G., Thompson, J.F. 2013. Drying characteristics and quality of bananas under infrared radiation heating. International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. 6(3):58-70.
Interpretive Summary: The study investigated the potential of using infrared radiation heating for drying banana slices. Infrared drying on banana not only shortened the drying time but also successfully inactivated polyphenol oxidase in banana. The moisture loss of banana slices during IR heating was fitted into a mathematical model. Infrared heating at high temperature caused the overproduction on hydroxymethylfurfural. Based on the findings, it is recommendable to dry banana with IR at product temperature of 70°C or below to preserve the product quality.
Technical Abstract: Hot air (HA) drying of banana has low drying efficiency and results in undesirable product quality. The objectives of this research were to investigate the feasibility of infrared (IR) heating to improve banana drying rate, evaluate quality of the dried product, and establish models for predicting drying characteristics. Banana slices of 5 mm and 8 mm thickness were dried with IR and HA at product temperatures of 60°C, 70°C and 80°C. Banana drying characteristics and changes in residual polyphenol oxidase (PPO), Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), color, moisture content (MC) and water activity during the treatments were investigated. Results showed that significant moisture reduction and higher drying rates were achieved with IR drying compared to HA drying in the early stage. The drying data could be fitted to the Page model for accurate prediction of MC change for IR and HA drying with mean R2 of 0.983. It was noted that enzyme inactivation occurred more quickly with IR than with HA drying. A unique response of PPO under IR and HA drying was revealed. IR heating of banana inactivated PPO within the first 20 min of drying at 60°C, 70°C and 80°C, while PPO was first activated before inactivation at 60°C and 70°C drying with HA. The highest HMF content occurred in banana slices with 5 mm thickness dried with IR at a product temperature of 80°C. It is therefore recommendable to dry banana with IR at product temperature of 70°C or below to preserve the product quality. These findings are new and provide more insight in the application of IR heating for drying banana for improved drying rate and product quality.