Keywords:Solar Greenhouse, Quartz infrared heater, Dehydration cherry tomato
This research was aimed to compare the traditional drying of dehydration cherry tomatoes with two different drying systems including a solar greenhouse and a solar greenhouse in association with quartz infrared heater (QIH). The inside drying temperatures of the greenhouse were fixed at 45–60 oC. The products with the averaged initial moisture content at 95% d.b. were dried in the two systems of the greenhouse until the average final moisture content reached 22% d.b. The results revealed that thermal efficiency of the solar greenhouse in association with quartz infrared heater was higher than the opponent. The average specific energy consumption was also lower at 29.74% and it took shorter time, only 2 days. However, the solar greenhouse and the natural drying took 3 and 6 days respectively. The quality of the products after the drying showed that the colors of those dried in the solar greenhouse in association with QIH were the darkest, but they were not really different. The brightness of the products was lower but not statistically significant (P≤0.05). The redness (a) and yellowness (b) were not different with statistically significant (P≤0.05). The sweetness of the products dried in the solar greenhouse in association with QIH was the least but not statistically significant (P≤0.05). Midilli mathematical model was the best model for predicting the moisture ratio of drying dehydration cherry tomatoes.
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