Dehydration of prunes: Kinetic aspects
Dehydration is an energy intensive operation widely used in the Agro-Food industry. This paper describes a series of recent studies looking at the kinetics of drying of d'Agen plums (Prunus domestica). The effect of operating parameters on the rate of moisture loss is examined and from the results a physico-chemical model is developed which gives insight into the controlling mechanisms. In addition, chemical changes during dehydration, in particular compositional changes of the carbohydrates present, were studied. The kinetics of the chemical reactions taking place, the role of fruit pH and the implications for final fruit quality are discussed.