Effect of convective drying of Myrtus Communis on the yield and quality of essential oils

Myrtus Communis has been used as medicinal and aromatic plant and used extensively in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries for the production of spice and essential oils. In order to preserve this seasonal plant and make it available to consumers during the whole year, it undergoes specific technological treatments such as drying. The objective of this paper is to determine the isotherms of adsorption and desorption isotherms and the drying kinetics of Myrtus Communis. Moisture equilibrium data were determined by using the gravimetric method with water activity ranging from 5% to 95% and three temperatures of 30, 40 and 50°C. Five mathematical models were used to fit the experimental data of sorption isotherms. The Chung-Pfost was found to be the most suitable model for describing the sorption curves. Another experimental study is devoted to the determination of the kinetics of drying under controllable conditions of temperature and moisture and to determine the influence of the drying on the yield and the quality of essential oils.

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