Drying Technology

Drying is applied in the food industry not only for preservation but also to manufacture foods with certain characteristics. The nature of the process along with the food structural characteristics results in a very marked effect on the quality characteristics of the final product. There are many different methods of drying food materials, each with their own advantages and disadvantages for particular applications. The methods most commonly employed for biotechnological and food products include freeze-drying, spray drying, convective drying, vacuum drying, microwave drying, osmotic drying. Higher drying temperature reduces the drying time but may result in poor product quality, heat damage to the surface and higher energy consumption. Mild drying conditions with lower temperature may improve the product quality but decrease the drying rate thus drying period is lengthened. Thus, drying operations need to be precisely controlled and optimized in order to produce a good-quality product with the highest level of nutrient retention.

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