Applications of superheated steam for the drying of food products
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Department of Food engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran
Int. Agrophys. 2010, 24(2): 195–204
Drying is an ancient process used to preserve foods. Conventional drying (hot air) offers dehydrated products that can have an extended life of a year. Unfortunately, the quality of a conventionally dried product is drastically reduced from that of the original foodstuff. Superheated steam drying has been known for over 100 years, but its acceptance in industry has been slow. Before industry accepts a new technology like processing in superheated steam drying, it must be proven to provide these benefits in the area of processing where drying of a product is not the primary concern. The comparison of both preservation processes, hot air and superheated steam drying, was done taking into account several important characteristics such as shrinkage, temperature, process quality interaction, drying kinetics, costs and new improvements. An updated bibliographic research served to investigate and compare the effects of drying in terms of quality such as shrinkage, colour and microstructure for food products. Theoretical results, from several years of research on the subject, are presented and compiled in order to support the conclusions.