Influence of power density and geometry of young cactus cladodes (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.) on intermittent microwave drying kinetics

Keywords: Microwave intermittent drying, Cactus cladodes drying, Effective diffusion coefficient, Drying periods, Activation energy


Due to its multiple uses, the production and consumption of nopal has increased worldwide in recent years. The influence of power density (60.3 to 538.9 W gdb-1) on the intermittent microwave drying of young cladodes, of different sizes, was studied. In general, all drying treatments showed a sigmoid shape and three drying periods: heating (I), constant rate (II) and falling rate (III). Empirical models were used to model drying kinetics. However, although they had a good fit (R2 from 0.965-0.998) they do not exactly represent the changes between drying periods. According to the structural evidence, water migrates from the inside of the cladode to the surface by the sides, where there is no cuticle (removed by the thorn quitting process). It was determined that the drying rate in period II depends exclusively on the power density applied and not on the cladode’s geometry. However, in period III the data obtained of effective diffusivity (Deff, 2.20x10-6 to 5.59x10-5 m2 s-1) showed that drying rate is affected by the size and thickness of cladodes.

Author Biography

T. Espinosa-Solares, Universidad Autónoma Chapingo

Departamento de Ingeniería Agroindustrial, Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Carretera México-Texcoco km 38.5, Texcoco, Estado de México, C. P. 56230, México.


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How to Cite
Espinosa-Solares, T., & Domínguez-Puerto, R. (2022). Influence of power density and geometry of young cactus cladodes (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.) on intermittent microwave drying kinetics. Revista Mexicana De Ingeniería Química, 22(1), Alim2965.
Food Engineering