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Drying and Quality Characteristics of Different Components of Alfalfa

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  056185,  2005 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.19929) @2005
Authors:   Xianzhe Zheng, Yiyuan Jiang, Zhongli Pan
Keywords:   alfalfa, drying temperature, drying rate, quality, modeling

This study investigated the effect of air temperature (100C 200C) 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 160C temperature and 0.3m/s air velocity is suggested.

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