Boryana Brashlyanova, Petya Ivanova, Ognyan Karabadzhov


The performed tests were designed to identify and analyze the parameters of drying in a authors model solar dryer. They to be the basis for constructing of an improved model. Drying was carried out in a pilot model solar dryer with prunes in two cycles. Both samples were run under steady sunshine in outdoor air temperature ranging between 20-22°C in the morning and 33-35°C in the early afternoon hours. Depending on the ambient conditions, the drying temperature was found in the range of 30 to 50°C. The dried samples had a water activity Aw> 0.9, due to which the storage is at -18°C. The duration of the drying process of prunes was inconstant and lasted from 2 to 3 days, depending on the final moisture content of the product and the external temperature, humidity, and intensity of solar radiation. The obtained two products intermediate moisture prunes, in addition to direct human consumption could be used as a base for incorporation into other products. Prunes with intermediate moisture content 40% could be consumed directly at ambient temperature or after freezing and tempering at -6 to -5ºC. Based on the established parameters we are to design and produce an improved solar dryer model that allows better utilization of heat and shortening the process duration.

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