Conference Contribution Details
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OżLeary A. A., Mahajan P. V., Sousa-Gallagher M. J.;
40th Annual UCC Food Research Conference
Development and optimization of a high performance moisture absorber
University College Cork, Ireland
Poster Presentation
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Quality and appearance of some foods depends substantially on the protection provided by moisture absorbers. However, existing moisture absorbers have low-absorption-capacity and/or absorb moisture too quickly. This study aimed to develop a moisture absorber with high moisture holding capacity at 10°C and 96% relative humidity. Three desiccants (bentonite, sorbitol, calcium chloride) were mixed in varying proportions according to a simplex-lattice design at two levels and changes in moisture content was measured at regular intervals. The Weibull constants (equilibrium moisture content and the kinetic constant) were calculated using non-linear regression. Mixed desiccant which contained a high proportion of calcium chloride was found to have a high moisture holding capacity. The mixed desiccant (e.g., bentonite 0g, sorbitol 0.33g, calcium chloride 0.67g) was found to have an equilibrium moisture content of 1.9 gg-1 and turned to liquid in 23 hours, whereas the desiccant which contained a high proportion of bentonite (e.g., bentonite 0.67g, sorbitol 0.33g, calcium chloride 0g) was found to reach an equilibrium moisture content of 0.58 g g-1 and stayed in the powder form for at least 216 hours. Pareto analysis showed that bentonite was a significant factor in determining the time taken by a mixed desiccant to reach its maximum moisture holding capacity and that calcium chloride and sorbitol were significant factors in determining the moisture holding capacity of the mixed desiccant. Proportions of mixed desiccants was optimized considering time taken to reach 90% moisture holding capacity and moisture content after 10 days. The optimized desiccant mixture was found to be 0.24g, 0.26g and 0.5g of sorbitol, calcium chloride and bentonite, respectively.