Improvement of Efficiency and Environmental Impact of a Low-Cost Food Dehydrator

Timothy J. Bowser*, R. Scott Frazier, Raghavendra Rao Kakarala
Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, USA.

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© 2011 Bowser et al;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, USA; Tel: +31598662730; Fax: +31598664 273; E-mail: Robin.Spelbrink@AVEBE.COM


Energy use and carbon emissions are important factors in food industry and in food dehydration in particular. A low-cost, small-scale dehydrator was tested to determine the impact of ventilation waste heat recovery (VHR) on its energy efficiency and carbon footprint. Cilantro, an important cash crop, was dried under three ventilation conditions while product moisture loss and energy use in the dehydrator were recorded. The ventilation conditions were: without VHR, with VHR, and with VHR and exhaust recirculation. Coefficient of performance (COP) for dehydrator operation under each operating condition was 0.135, 0.187, and 0.194 respectively. Tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent produced when operating the dehydrator were 20.0, 13.1, and 18.0 for the same conditions. COP of the dehydrator increased 39% when a VHR system was added and carbon emissions equivalent was reduced by 35%. Product drying time was also reduced when the VHR system was added to the dehydrator, increasing the amount of production time available.

Keywords: Azocasein, Emulsion, Trypsin, Protease Inhibitor, Potato Protease Inhibitor, Trypsin Inhibitory Activity.