MOISTURE SORPTION ISOTHERMS OF QUINOA SEEDS: THERMODYNAMIC ANALYSIS

ABSTRACT The present research aimed to study the water sorption behavior of quinoa seeds analyzing the hysteresis phenomenon and determining thermodynamic properties. Static gravimetric technique was used to obtain the equilibrium moisture content of quinoa seeds in different temperature conditions (15, 25, 35 e 50 °C) and relative humidity (between 11 and 96%). Equilibrium moisture content data were adjusted by eight mathematical models and the Modified Halsey model was the best one to describe the water sorption phenomena of quinoa seeds. Hygroscopic equilibrium moisture content of quinoa seeds is directly proportional to the water activity and decreases with increasing temperature. The hysteresis phenomena were observed throughout the range of water activity, showing more evident at low temperatures. Integral isosteric heat and differential entropy decreased with the increase of equilibrium moisture content. Gibbs free energy decreased with the increase of temperature and equilibrium moisture content. Compensation enthalpy-entropy theory was confirmed and the sorption mechanism is controlled by enthalpy.