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Title: Development of an intermittent solar dryer for cocoa beans
Authors: Fagunwa, Ayokunle O.
Koya, Olufemi A.
Faborode, Micheal O.
Keywords: Intermittent dryer
Solar dryer
Cocoa beans
Issue Date: 15-Jul-2009
Publisher: Agricultural Engineering International: CIGR Journal
Citation: Fagunwa, A. O., Koya, O. A., & Faborode, M. O. (2009). Development of an intermittent solar dryer for cocoa beans. Agricultural Engineering International: CIGR Journal.
Abstract: A solar dryer with thermal energy storage was developed for intermittent drying of cocoa beans. The prototype was built using readily available local materials. Drying mechanism was based on a combination of convective heating and direct radiation, with a provision for controlling the rate of airflow through the beans. The experimental model dehydrated cocoa beans from 53.4 to 3.6% moisture content (wb) in a 72 hours inter-mittent drying process against ambient temperature and relative humidity in the range 25-30 o C and 58-98%, respectively. Quality assessment of the dried beans showed that beans of good quality attributes: pH of 6.35, acid value of 3.40 mg/g, with mildly bitter taste were obtained under free convective drying; whilst, increase in moisture re-absorption and acidic flavour were indicated with forced convective drying. The work, thus, provides a viable system for producing cocoa beans of good quality attributes, comparable with using the traditional sun-drying, but without the associated drudgery.
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