Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, 21st International Drying Symposium

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Drying parameters influence on ‘Ameclyae’ Opuntia ficus prickly pear oil quality
L. Hassini, H. Desmorieux

Last modified: 03-01-2019


The aim of this work is to study the effects of drying conditions on the quality of extracted pricly pear seed oil, specifically α-tocopherol content. Drying experiments were carried on following a full 23 factorial design using a vertical drying tunnel. The temperature range was 45 to 70°C, relative humidity range was 15 - 30% and   air velocity was 1 and 2 m/s. The Midilli-Kucuk model was found with satisfaction describing the seed air drying curves with a correlation coefficient of 0.999 and a standard error of 0.01. For each drying condition, the extraction of fixed oil seeds was performed at cold using mechanical pressing method. The oil quality was evaluated on the basis of the a-tocopherol content. The a-tocopherol was identified and quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC-UV). According to the experimental results, it was found that convective drying of thin layer of seeds at soft air conditions, drying temperature of 45°C, relative humidity of 15% and air velocity of 1m/s give the optimal quality of extracted oil in terms of a-tocopherol content.

Keywords: prickly pear seeds;  convective drying; semi-empirical modeling; a-tocopherol seed oil; optimization.

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