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Food drying enhancement by ultrasound – A review

Musielak, Grzegorz, Mierzwa, Dominik, Kroehnke, Joanna
Trends in food science & technology 2016 v.56 pp. 126-141
agricultural products, air, dryers, drying, energy, heat, industrial applications, product quality, temperature, ultrasonics
Drying is one of the most popular methods of preserving a wide variety of food and agricultural products. Unfortunately, this unit operation may negatively influence product quality. Moreover, due to the high heat capacity of water, drying is usually a long-lasting and energy-intensive process, thus new drying techniques are continuously being sought.This review presents the current state of art in ultrasonic-assisted drying. Despite immense knowledge on the principles of ultrasound generation and action, this technology has found no practical application in industrial drying yet. In this paper we tried to find the reasons for this state of affairs. Up-to-date designs of dryers using ultrasound to enhance the drying process and the various possible mechanisms of accelerating the drying process with the application of ultrasonic waves are discussed. The influence of ultrasound on the product's quality (dried food) is judged and described.The analysis of the results presented by the researchers here allows to state that applying ultrasound to drying caused a shortening of the drying time and could reduce total energy consumption. Moreover, due to the small “temperature effect”, the quality of the obtained products was noticeably better as compared to the control processes (without ultrasound enhancement). The lack of an effective technology for generating power ultrasound in air was distinguished as the primary constraint for industrial application of this technology. The necessity of conducting detailed studies on ultrasound application in drying was emphasized.