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Journal of Food Engineering 78 (2007) 90–97

www.elsevier.com/locate/jfoodeng

Mathematical modeling of mass transfer in osmotic


dehydration of onion slices
a,* b
P.P. Sutar , D.K. Gupta
a
Department of Agricultural and Food Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721 302, India
b
Department of Post Harvest Process and Food Engineering, G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar 263 145, India

Received 24 May 2004; accepted 12 September 2005


Available online 8 November 2005

Abstract

The study on osmotic dehydration of onion slices was carried out in order to remove the moisture prior to the further mechanical
drying. Three salt concentration levels (5%, 12.5% and 20%), three temperature levels of osmotic solution (28 °C, 43 °C and 58 °C)
and the observations on weight loss and solid gain were taken at an interval of 5 min up to first half an hour followed by interval of
10 min for next 1 h. The sample to solution ratio of 1:5, agitation of 100 shakes per minute, sample thickness of 4 mm and 0.2% potas-
sium metabisulphite mixed with osmotic solution were used for the study. A two-parameter mathematical model developed by Azuara
et al. was used for describing the mass transfer in osmotic dehydration of onions slices. The effect of time on mass transfer kinetics was
investigated and the constants of two-parameter model and final equilibrium points for moisture loss as well as solid gain were found.
The effect of solution concentration and solution temperature was also studied and it was found that equilibrium moisture loss and solid
gain are related to solution concentration and solution temperature logarithmically. The optimum conditions of osmotic dehydration for
further drying were found to be 20% salt concentration, 28 °C solution temperature and 1-h of osmosis.
Ó 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Moisture loss; Solid gain; Equilibrium moisture loss; Equilibrium solid gain

1. Introduction pretreatment prior to other drying methods improves the


colour, flavour and texture of the final product, also it is
Osmotic dehydration is the process of water removal by less energy intensive process as no phase change takes place
immersion of water containing cellular solid in a concen- (Ertekin & Cakaloz, 1996 Islam & Flink, 1982; Karthanos,
trated aqueous solution during which simultaneous solid Kastaropoulus, & Saravacos, 1995; Lerici, Pinnavaia,
gain also takes place. The driving force for water removal Dalla Rosa, & Bartolucci, 1985; Pokharkar, 2001; Rastogi
is set up because of a difference in osmotic pressure & Raghavarao, 1997).
between the food and its surrounding solution. The com- The rate of water loss during osmotic dehydration
plex cellular structure of food acts as a semi permeable depends upon the solution concentration, immersion time,
membrane. Since, the membrane is not completely selec- solution temperature, sample to solution ratio and agitation
tive, it results in two counter current mass transfers, one or circulation of osmotic solution. A large number of stud-
diffusion of water from food to osmotic solution and diffu- ies are available in the literature regarding the influence of
sion of solute from solution to the food. Osmotic dehydra- these parameters on the rate of moisture loss as well as solid
tion of fruits and vegetables is gaining attention due to its gain (Conway, Castaigne, Picard, & Vevan, 1983; Islam &
important role in food processing industry because osmotic Flink, 1982; Le Maguer, 1988; Rastogi & Raghavarao,
1994, 1997). In most of research works water loss and solid
*
Corresponding author. Tel.: +91 983 2139862; fax: +91 3222 282288. gain come in equilibrium with respect to time when other
E-mail address: psutar@iitkgp.ac.in (P.P. Sutar). conditions are kept constant. Typical osmotic dehydration

0260-8774/$ - see front matter Ó 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2005.09.008
P.P. Sutar, D.K. Gupta / Journal of Food Engineering 78 (2007) 90–97 91

Nomenclature

MLh moisture loss at any time (fraction) Wi weight of dry matter of sample before osmosis (g)
h time of osmosis (min) Wf weight of dry matter of sample after osmosis (g)
S1 constant related to the rate of water diffusion SGdb salt gain dry basis (fraction)
out from the product (min1) M0 moisture present initially (g)
L ratio of model squared model dependent and Mh moisture present at any time (g)
independent estimators in lack of fit test C concentration of osmotic solution (%)
ML1 moisture loss at equilibrium (fraction) T temperature of osmotic solution (°C)
SGh solid gain at any time (fraction)
S2 constant related to the rate of solid diffusion in Subscripts
the product (min1) 1 infinity
SG1 solid gain at equilibrium (fraction) h theta

runs require several hours to reach equilibrium and in some h 1 h


¼ þ ð2Þ
cases it is not possible to attain equilibrium due to biologi- MLh S 1 ðML1 Þ ML1
cal and/or physical instability (Azuara, Cortes, Garcia, &
Berstian, 1992). Some equations developed for osmotic Similar equations can be used to determine the constant
dehydration (Conway et al., 1983; Rastogi & Raghavarao, S2 and solid gain at equilibrium during osmotic dehydra-
1995, 1997) are specific for certain processing conditions tion of onions slices. The equations are
and geometric configurations (slab, cylinder, etc.). These
equations also cannot predict equilibrium point. In most S 2 hðSG1 Þ hðSG1 Þ
SGh ¼ ¼ 1 ð3Þ
of the experiments of osmotic dehydration the osmosis is 1 þ S2h S2
þh
carried out at constant temperature and solution concentra-
tion and rate of water loss and solid gain is a function of h 1 h
¼ þ ðlinear formÞ ð4Þ
time only. Azuara et al. (1992) developed two-parameter SGh S 2 ðSG1 Þ SG1
models for both moisture loss and solid gain, which were
able to describe the mass transfer patterns on the basis of where SGh is the solid gain fraction at any time, S2 is con-
short duration of osmosis. These models were also able to stant related to the rate of solid diffusion in the product
predict the equilibrium moisture loss and equilibrium solid and SG1 the solid gain fraction at equilibrium.
gain.
The objectives of the study were, modeling of kinetics
of water loss and solid gain and establishment of equilib- 3. Materials and methods
rium levels of water loss and solid gain at different solu-
tion temperatures and concentrations for onion slices as 3.1. Raw material preparation
well as to investigate the effect of temperature and sodium
chloride solution concentration on mass transfer during Fresh well-graded, dark pink coloured, good quality
osmosis. onions were procured from the local market on daily basis
prior to each set of experiments. The onions after peeling
were cut into 4 mm thick slices by a sharp edge knife in
2. Theoretical considerations
the direction perpendicular to the vertical axis. The mois-
ture content of each onion was measured separately by tak-
A two-parameter equation developed by Azuara et al.
ing one slice from each onion and the same value was used
(1992) can be written as
for determination of moisture loss and solid gain for the
S 1 hðML1 Þ hðML1 Þ slices used from those onions. The moisture content of
MLh ¼ ¼ 1 ð1Þ onions was determined by vacuum oven. The range of
1 þ S1h S1
þh
moisture content was between 82.72% and 88.94% on wet
where MLh is the moisture loss fraction at any time, S1 is basis.
constant related to the rate of water diffusion out from
product, h is time and ML1 is moisture loss fraction at 3.2. Preparation of osmotic solution
equilibrium.
During the osmotic dehydration of onions slices the con- Common salt, the osmotic agent, was purchased from
stant S1 and moisture loss at equilibrium can be determined local market. The osmotic solutions of different concentra-
by linear regression, using experimental data obtained. The tions (5%, 12.5% and 20%) were prepared by dissolving
linear form is required amounts of salt in distilled water.
92 P.P. Sutar, D.K. Gupta / Journal of Food Engineering 78 (2007) 90–97

3.3. Experimental procedure 1–6 at different salt concentrations and solution tempera-
tures. The moisture loss as well as solid gain increased
Experiments were conducted at nine combinations of non-linearly with time at all concentrations and tempera-
three concentrations (5%, 12.5%, and 20%) and three tem- tures. Both, the moisture loss and solid gain were faster
peratures (28 °C, 43 °C and 58 °C). The onion slices of in the initial period of osmosis and then the rate decreased.
4 mm thickness, sample to solution ratio of 1:5, 0.2% This was expected because osmotic driving potentials for
potassium metabisulphite with osmotic solution and 100 moisture as well as solid transfer will keep on decreasing
shakes per minute were kept constant for all combinations. with time as the moisture keeps moving from sample to
Onion slices were cut manually using a sharp knife. During solution and the solid from solution to the sample. Further,
each experiment, the observations on weight loss and solid progressive solid uptake would result in the formation of
gain were taken at an interval of 5 min up to first half an high solid subsurface layer, which would interfere with
hour followed by interval of 10 min for next 1 h to obtain the concentration gradients across the sample-solution
experimental data on osmotic kinetics. All experiments interface and would act as a barrier against removal of
were replicated thrice. At each designated time interval water and uptake of solid (Hawkes & Flink, 1978). Besides,
the sample was taken out from osmotic solution, rinsed rapid loss of water and uptake of solid near the surface in
and blotted using blotting paper and its weight was taken. the beginning may result in structural changes leading to
After that, it was analyzed for its moisture content by vac-
uum oven. The moisture loss and the solid gain were calcu-
lated based on mass balance. All reported results are from Actual ML % at 28˚C
average values of the three replications. Cut-off time for Actual ML% at 43˚C
Actual ML% at 58˚C
osmotic dehydration was identified based on the moisture Predicted ML% at 28˚C
loss and solid gain. 20 Predicted ML% at 43˚C
Predicted ML% at 58˚C
Salt solution was chosen for osmosis as it is an excellent
osmotic agent for vegetables retarding oxidative and non-
15
enzymatic browning (Sagar, 2001). Potassium metab-
ML (% of initial moisture)

isulphite was added to prevent pink discolouration of dried


onions (Pawar, Singh, Dev, Kulkarni, & Ingle, 1988; 10
Rajkumar & Sreenarayanan, 2001). Agitation was given
during osmosis for reducing the mass transfer resistance
at the surface of the solid, good mixing and close tempera- 5
ture control in the osmotic medium (Ertekin & Cakaloz,
1996; Sagar, 2001). 0
0 20 40 60 80 100
3.4. Calculations
-5
Time of osmosis (θ), min
Moisture loss at any time (MLh) was characterized using
the following equation: Fig. 1. Effect of temperature of osmotic solution on moisture loss at
constant salt concentration (5%).
M0  Mh
MLh ¼ ð5Þ
M0
The salt gain was found by mass balance method
(Ertekin & Cakaloz, 1996; Islam & Flink, 1982; Sagar, 25
2001; Sankat, Castigne, & Maharaj, 1996; Welti, Palou,
Lopez-Malo, & Balseira, 1995). At each predetermined 20
ML (% of initial moisture)

time interval the samples were removed and were dried in


vacuum oven. The increase in dry mass of the sample 15
was noted as salt gain.
Actual ML% at 28˚C
Wf Wi 10
Actual ML % at 43˚C
SGdb ¼ ð6Þ Actual ML% at 58˚C
Wi Predicted ML % at 28˚C
5
Predicted ML% at 43˚C
Predicted ML% at 58˚C
4. Results and discussion 0
0 20 40 60 80 100
4.1. Effect of time on mass transfer -5
Time of osmosis(θ), min

Moisture loss from and solid gain by the onion slices Fig. 2. Effect of temperature of osmotic solution on moisture loss at
against time of osmosis can be observed from sample Figs. constant salt concentration (12.5%).
P.P. Sutar, D.K. Gupta / Journal of Food Engineering 78 (2007) 90–97 93

60
40

35 50

30
ML (% of initial moisture)

40

SG (% of initial solids)
25

30
20

15 20
Actual ML% at 28˚C Actual SG% at 28˚C
Actual ML% at 43˚C Actual SG% at 43˚C
10 Actual SG% at 58˚C
Actual ML% at 58˚C 10
Predicted ML% at 28˚C Predicted SG% at 28˚C
5 Predicted SG % at 43˚C
Predicted ML% at 43˚C
Predicted SG % at 58˚C
Predicted ML% at 58˚C
0
0 0 20 40 60 80 100
0 20 40 60 80 100
-5 -10
Time of osmosis (θ), min Time of osmosis (θ), min

Fig. 3. Effect of temperature of osmotic solution on moisture loss at Fig. 5. Effect of temperature of osmotic solution on solid gain at constant
constant salt concentration (20%). salt concentration (12.5%).

12 140

10 120

8 100
SG (% of initial solids)

SG (% of initial solids)

80
6

60
4
Actual SG% at 28˚C
Actual SG% at 43˚C
Actual SG% at 58˚C 40
2 Predicted SG% at 28˚C Actual SG% at 28˚C
Predicted SG% at 43˚C Actual SG% at 43˚C
Predicted SG% at 58˚C Actual SG% at 58˚C
20 Predicted SG% at 28˚C
0 Predicted SG% at 43˚C
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Predicted SG% at 58˚C
0
-2 0 20 40 60 80 100
Time of osmosis (θ), min
-20
Time of osmosis (θ), min
Fig. 4. Effect of temperature of osmotic solution on solid gain at constant
salt concentration (5%). Fig. 6. Effect of temperature of osmotic solution on solid gain at constant
salt concentration (20%).

compaction of these surface layers and increased mass


transfer resistance for water and solid (Lenart & Flink, 4.2. Mathematical modeling of mass transfer on
1984). Similar trends have been reported for other fruits the basis time
and vegetables during osmosis (Conway et al., 1983; Ertekin
& Cakaloz, 1996; Hawkes & Flink, 1978; Karthanos et al., A two-parameter equation based on mass balance devel-
1995; Lazarides, Katsanidis, & Nickolaidis, 1995; Lenart & oped by Azuara et al. (1992) was used in order to predict
Flink, 1984). The analysis of variance for effect of different the kinetics of dehydration during the osmotic process,
time intervals (0–90 min) on mass transfer showed highly and to determine the final equilibrium point. At a given ini-
significant difference in moisture loss and solid gain at all tial concentration and constant temperature, the moisture
combinations of temperature and concentration. The p- loss and solid gain are given by Eqs. (1) and (3). In Eqs.
values calculated at all combinations of temperature and (1) and (3), S11 or S12 represent the time required for half of
concentration were less than 0.05. the diffusible matter (water or solid) to diffuse out or enter
94 P.P. Sutar, D.K. Gupta / Journal of Food Engineering 78 (2007) 90–97

in the product respectively. Further, as the time, h becomes the water loss or the solid gain, MLh or SGh, approaches
much greater than the values of S11 or S12 , (that is, h ! 1), equilibrium value, ML1 or SG1, asymptotically. In Eqs.

1000 1600
r 2 = 0.99 2
900 r = 0.9937
1400
800
r 2 = 0.98 1200 2
r = 0.9956
700
1000
2
600 r 2 = 0.98 r = 0.9828
θ/MLθ

θ/SGθ
500 800

400 600
300 5%, 28˚C
400
200 5%, 28˚C 5%, 43˚C
5%, 43˚C 200 5%, 58˚C
100
5%, 58˚C
0 0
0 20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100
Time of osmosis (θ), min Time of osmosis (θ), min

Fig. 7. Linear plots of Azuara et al. model for determination of ML1 and Fig. 10. Linear plots of Azuara et al. model for determination of SG1 and
S1 at 5% salt concentration and different solution temperatures. S2 at 5% salt concentration and different solution temperatures.

700
2
300
r = 0.9891 r 2 = 0.9569
600
2
250
r = 0.9958 r 2 = 0.9555
500 2
r = 0.9939
200 r 2 = 0.9517
400
θ/MLθ

θ/SGθ

150
300
100
200 12.5%, 28˚C 12.5%, 28˚C

12.5%, 43˚C 50 12.5%, 43˚C


100
12.5%, 58˚C 12.5%, 58˚C
0
0 0 20 40 60 80 100
0 20 40 60 80 100
Time of osmosis (θ), min
Time of osmosis (θ), min
Fig. 11. Linear plots of Azuara et al. model for determination of SG1 and
Fig. 8. Linear plots of Azuara et al. model for determination of ML1 and
S2 at 12.5% salt concentration and different solution temperatures.
S1 at 12.5% salt concentration and different solution temperatures.

180
450
r 2 = 0.9802 160
2
r = 0.9795
400
r 2 = 0.9782 140
350
120
300 r 2 = 0.9856 2
r = 0.9089
100
θ/SGθ
θ/MLθ

250

200 80
2
r = 0.9834
150 60
20%, 28˚C
100 40 20%, 28˚C
20%, 43˚C
20%, 43˚C
50 20
20%, 58˚C 20%, 58˚C
0 0
0 20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100
Time of osmosis (θ), min Time of osmosis (θ), min

Fig. 9. Linear plots of Azuara et al. model for determination of ML1 and Fig. 12. Linear plots of Azuara et al. model for determination of SG1 and
S1 at 20% salt concentration and different solution temperatures. S2 at 20% salt concentration and different solution temperatures.
P.P. Sutar, D.K. Gupta / Journal of Food Engineering 78 (2007) 90–97 95

(1) and (3), the values of parameters S1, ML1, S2 and SG1 4.3. Prediction by the proposed model
can be estimated from short duration osmotic kinetic data
by performing linear regression on or by graphical plotting A comparison of Azuara et al. model predictions with
of Eqs. (1) and (3) in the linearized form. The plots of lin- the experimental mass transfer kinetics in the form of
earized forms of equations for different salt concentrations moisture loss (% of initial moisture) and solid gain (%
and solution temperatures have shown by Figs. 7–12. So, if of initial solid) was done by conducting three separate
h
the experimental plots of ML h
vs. h and SGh h vs. h were to experiments at 5%, 12.5% and 20% salt concentration
show linearity, the parameter values could be determined keeping solution temperatures of 28 °C, 43 °C and 58 °C
from the intercept and the slope using Eqs. (2) and (4). respectively. The other conditions in the experiments were
The model, Eqs. (1) and (3) could then be used to predict same as the original experiments. The standard error val-
the mass transfer kinetics. ues between the actual and predicted moisture loss by the
h
The values of ML h
and SGh h as calculated from the mois- model were 0.957, 1.21 and 3.28 respectively for the above
ture loss and solid gain data at different salt concentrations three experiments. As well as the standard error values for
and temperatures were plotted against time. A linear trend solid gain for the above three experiments were 1.809,
was observed in all cases. Straight lines were, therefore, fit- 2.037 and 7.008 respectively. This indicated that the pro-
ted by performing linear regression and the parameter val- posed model predicted the moisture loss from and the
ues were determined. The values of ML1 and S1 for solid gain by the onion slices well and can be accepted
moisture loss kinetics (Eq. (1)) and of SG1 and S2 for solid for further drying.
gain kinetics (Eq. (3)) are given in Table 1. The determina-
tion coefficient values were in the range of 0.90–0.99 show- 4.4. Effect of concentration and temperature on mass transfer
ing a good fit of the proposed model in its linearized form
to the experimental data in all cases. The lack of fit test It can be observed from Figs. 1–6 that both the moisture
applied to the replicated data showed that the models were loss and the solid gain by onions increased with increasing
adequate to describe the moisture loss and solid gain in the concentration of osmotic solution (5–20%) at constant
onion slices. The values of statistic L which were calculated solution temperature. This was expected because the osmo-
on the basis of model independent and dependent estima- tic driving potentials for water as well as for solid would
tors of residual standard deviations for both the moisture increase with the increased salt concentration in osmotic
loss and solid gain were 3.61 and 5.49, respectively at 5 solution. Similar results have been reported for osmotic
per cent level of significance. The values of L were less than dehydration of onions by Sagar (2001). Such effects have
the upper tail cut-off value 6.09 obtained from the F-distri- also been reported in other fruits and vegetables (Ertekin
bution which showed that the models were adequate to & Cakaloz, 1996; Hawkes & Flink, 1978; Karthanos
describe the mass transfer at all combinations of tempera- et al., 1995; Lazarides et al., 1995; Pokharkar & Prasad,
ture and concentration. The p-values calculated to show 1998). The analysis of variance showed that the osmotic
the effect of time on mass transfer were also less than solution concentration significantly affects the moisture
0.05 at all combinations. loss and solid gain at 5% level of significance.

Table 1
Osmotic model constants for moisture loss and solid gain
Salt concentration (%) Temperature (°C)
28 43 58
ML1 (% of initial moisture)
5 10.25 (0.31) 13.00 (0.69) 16.88 (0.41)
12.5 15.96 (0.26) 19.43 (0.22) 21.33 (0.56)
20 24.35 (0.33) 27.70 (0.21) 32.95 (0.43)
S1 (per min)
5 0.19 (0.02) 0.18 (0.03) 0.19 (0.05)
12.5 0.12 (0.05) 0.14 (0.02) 0.14 (0.01)
20 0.18 (0.02) 0.17 (0.04) 0.31 (0.06)
SG1 (% of initial solid)
5 7.25 (0.18) 9.33 (0.22) 11.29(0.36)
12.5 45.64 (0.67) 54.96 (0.32) 58.89 (0.19)
20 64.25 (0.84) 100.24 (1.53) 145.62 (1.27)
S2 (per min)
5 0.12 (0.030) 0.10 (0.006) 0.07 (0.001)
12.5 0.03 (0.006) 0.03 (0.002) 0.05 (0.008)
20 0.05 (0.004) 0.03 (0.006) 0.06 (0.003)
Values in bracket are standard deviations.
96 P.P. Sutar, D.K. Gupta / Journal of Food Engineering 78 (2007) 90–97

It was also observed from Figs. 1 and 6 that both the Table 2
moisture loss and the solid gain by onion slices increased Moisture loss (% of initial moisture) after 1 h of osmosis
with increasing temperature of osmotic solution from Salt concentration (%) Solution temperature
28 °C to 58 °C. Increase in the mass transfer due to increase 28 °C 43 °C 58 °C
in solution temperature results because higher temperature 5 9.45 (0.34) 11.94 (0.78) 15.56 (0.36)
seems to promote faster water loss through swelling and 12.5 14.02 (0.23) 17.39 (0.18) 19.15 (0.49)
plasticizing of cell membranes, faster water diffusion within 20 22.30 (0.27) 25.26 (0.42) 31.29 (0.26)
the product and better water transfer characteristics on the Values in bracket are standard deviations.
product surface due to lower viscosity of the osmotic med-
ium. Also, higher solid gains at higher temperatures may be
due the destruction to cell membrane structure (Le Maguer, Table 3
1988; Lenart & Flink, 1984). Similar results have been Solid gain (% of initial solid) after 1 h of osmosis
reported by Lazarides et al. (1995) with osmotic dehydra- Salt concentration (%) Solution temperature
tion of apple slices in a temperature range of 20–50 °C. Such 28 °C 43 °C 58 °C
effects have also been reported in other fruits and vegetables 5 6.39 (0.23) 8.08 (0.14) 9.28 (0.29)
(Pointing, 1973; Pokharkar, 2001). The effect of tempera- 12.5 30.32 (0.86) 35.61 (0.26) 45.21 (0.42)
ture of osmotic solution was found by analysis of variance. 20 50.14 (0.66) 70.65 (0.81) 114.66 (1.93)
The temperature of osmotic solution was found to be signif- Values in bracket are standard deviations.
icantly affecting on the moisture loss and showed the non-
significant effect on solid gain at 5% level of significance.
The increase in equilibrium moisture loss as well as equi- concentration with 28 °C solution temperature was decided
librium solid gain with increase in salt concentration and for osmosis with 1 h duration. The higher temperatures at
solution temperature were found to be varying by logarith- 20% salt concentrations even require very less time for
mic relationships. The standard error values for equilib- same moisture loss and solid gain but were not used
rium moisture loss and equilibrium solid gain as given by because of energy requirement for heating osmotic solution
relationships (Eqs. (8) and (10)) were 0.042 and 0.068 as well as the disadvantage of quality deterioration of
respectively. produce due to high temperature (Le Maguer, 1988; Lenart
& Flink, 1984). Tables 2 and 3 show the moisture loss and
ML1 ¼ a0 C a1 T a2 ð7Þ
solid gain after 1 h of osmosis. The moisture was after 1 h
ML1 ¼ 0:8592C 0:5290 T 0:4952 ðR2 ¼ 0:94Þ ð8Þ of osmosis at 28 °C solution temperature and 5% salt
b1 b2
concentration was 9.45%, which increased up to 22.30%
SG1 ¼ b0 C T ð9Þ at 28 °C solution temperature and 20% salt concentration.
SG1 ¼ 0:04406C 1:7384 T 0:6933 ðR2 ¼ 0:98Þ ð10Þ Similar increase in moisture loss as well as solid gain was
observed due to rise in salt concentration at other temper-
where, a0, a1, a2, a3, b0, b1, b2 and b3 are coefficients of mul- atures. Also statistical analysis showed that there was sig-
tiple regression equations. nificant difference between moisture loss as well as solid
These relationships predict the equilibrium points at any gain after 1 h of osmosis at different salt concentrations.
concentration and temperature of osmotic solution at other
constant conditions used in this experiments.
5. Conclusions
4.5. Determination of osmotic dehydration cut-off time
From the above experimental results it can be concluded
for further drying
that the two- parameter models developed by Azuara et al.
can describe the mass transfer kinetics in the osmotic dehy-
The duration of osmosis was considered to be one dur-
dration process of onion slices at any time satisfactorily
ing which the maximum moisture loss should take place
when other conditions of osmosis are kept constant. The
but solid gain should be within allowable limits so as not
model can predict equilibrium points on the basis of short
to affect the acceptability of dehydrated onion slices.
duration of osmosis without conduction of experiments for
The allowable solid gain in dehydrated onions was
several hours. The equilibrium moisture loss as well as
decided by considering the allowable salt with onions in
equilibrium solid gain as predicted by proposed models
number of recipies in which onion is used as ingredient.
increase by logarithmic relationship with increase in salt
It was found that salt with onions varies between 50%
concentration and solution temperature.
and 133% of dry solid in onions (Isbael & Moore, 1983;
Gadia, 1988). Therefore, for acceptable quality the solid
gain in onion slices should be less than the 50% of dry solid Acknowledgements
in onions. The moisture loss, at 50% solid gain, was higher
at 20% salt concentration than 5% and 12.5% salt concen- The authors are grateful to Indian Council of Agricul-
trations at all temperature levels. Therefore, 20% salt tural Research (ICAR) for its financial assistance and
P.P. Sutar, D.K. Gupta / Journal of Food Engineering 78 (2007) 90–97 97

Professor Suresh Prasad, IIT Kharagpur for his valuable Lerici, C. R., Pinnavaia, G., Dalla Rosa, M., & Bartolucci, L. (1985).
advice to this research work. Osmotic dehydration of fruits: influence of osmotic agents on drying
behaviour and product quality. Journal of Food Science, 50,
1217–1219.
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