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Construction of a prototype heat pump dehydrator for mango pulp and peel

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

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2101215.(doi:10.13031/aim.202101215)
Authors:   Felipe J Espinoza, Ing., Fedreico F Hahn, Dr.
Keywords:   dehydrator, heat pump, temperature, time, relative humidity, air convection.

Abstract. Currently the world trend is to consume organic and healthy products, such as dehydrated food, being a constant especially in the United States of America and Europe.

Dehydration is one of the most widely used techniques for food preservation, however, it is often argued that drying equipment has a shorter process time, which provides higher product quality, less contamination, higher added value, since certain technological variables that participate in the drying process can be managed (temperature, relative humidity, air flow, pre-treatments, etc.)

This study exposes the construction of a heat pump dehydrator, through forced air convection, which operates in a closed environment, with total recirculation of the dehydrated air, controlling the temperature by means of a digital thermostat, which turns the heat pump on and off to maintain the programmed temperature, it also has temperature and humidity sensors in the dehydration chamber, located at the inlet of the evaporator and at the outlet of the condenser. The dehydration temperature was controlled and monitored in a range of 55 ° to 60 ° C, the minimum relative humidity was 15% in the dehydration chamber, when dehydrating mango peels and pulp. The minimum dehydration time was 8 hours, in the initial tests, obtaining a product with a homogeneous appearance and without apparent damage. An electrical consumption of the prototype was observed in the current configuration of 4.62 Amps. The air speed was 2.5 m / s.

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