Keywords: postharvest drying, heat pumps, postharvest technology, dehydration technologies, shelf life extension, product quality, postharvest preservation, superheated steam drying
Some recent developments in drying technologies appropriate for postharvest processing
There has been an explosive growth in the Research and Development (R&D) effort devoted to drying R&D over the past three decades. This growth was stimulated by the energy crisis of the early 1970s and by the increased consumer demand for better quality products. Many of the innovative new technologies were triggered by their potential for application in industrial drying in diverse industrial sectors. A majority of drying R&D efforts today is devoted to the food and agricultural sectors. Preservation of food and agro-products and value addition are the key incentives for examining new dehydration technologies for their appropriateness in postharvest processing. Since most biologically originated products are heat sensitive, it is important to reduce their water activity to increase shelf life without degrading their quality attributes.