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Mathematical, Fuzzy Logic and Artificial Neural Network Modeling Techniques to Predict Drying Kinetics of Onion

Jafari, Seid Mahdi, Ganje, Mohammad, Dehnad, Danial, Ghanbari, Vahid
Journal of food processing and preservation 2016 v.40 no.2 pp. 329-339
air flow, algorithms, drying, drying temperature, dynamic models, factories, fluidized beds, foods, fruits, fuzzy logic, heat, heat pumps, mass transfer, neural networks, onions, prediction, researchers, topology
In this study, the influence of drying temperature (40, 50, 60C) and airflow velocity (2 and 3 m/s) on drying onion was evaluated by a custom designed fluidized bed dryer equipped with a heat pump dehumidifier. A comparative study was performed among nonlinear regression techniques, fuzzy logic and artificial neural networks to estimate the dynamic drying behavior of onion. Among nine mathematical models, approximation of diffusion with R² = 0.9999 and root mean square error = 0.004157 showed the best fit with experimental data. Fuzzy logic tool in MATLAB with Mamdani model in the form of If–Then rules along with triangular membership function used for simulation, interpolation and obtaining a theoretical increase in experimental moisture ratios were used. Feedforward–backpropagation neural system with application of Levenberg–Marquardt training algorithm, hyperbolic tangent sigmoid transfer function, training cycle of 1,000 epoch and 2‐5‐1 topology was determined as the best neural model in terms of statistical indices. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Forecasting kinetics of food drying by application of precise mathematical and dynamic modeling techniques as well as preparing particular patterns for describing such drying behaviors of diverse food products seem unavoidable for processing factories to optimize the quality of their dried food products and reduce operational costs. For this purpose, in this study, we applied different temperatures and airflow velocities to dry onion by a custom designed fluidized bed dryer equipped with a heat pump dehumidifier, predicting its drying behavior by regression, fuzzy logic and artificial neural network techniques and comparing accuracy of those models. Also, this paper compares prediction patterns of drying onion by fluidized bed drying with those of other food products dried by various drying methods. The results of this study will be helpful for all researchers and producers who want to know more about the nuances of impacts of different fluidized bed drying variables on the patterns of heat and mass transfer in fruits and vegetables.