Drying kinetics of blackberry leaves

ABSTRACT Blackberry leaves have some pharmacological properties and one of the most widespread and studied uses is to relieve symptoms of the climacteric and other symptoms during the premenstrual period. Thus, drying becomes important for the conservation and storage of the product until its use or processing. The present study aimed to evaluate the drying kinetics of blackberry leaves, as well as to determine the effective diffusion coefficient and the activation energy during the drying process. Blackberry leaves were dried in an experimental fixed-bed dryer under four controlled temperature conditions (40, 50, 60 and 70 °C) and two drying air speeds (0.4 and 0.8 m s-1). With the experimental data of moisture ratio, eight mathematical models were fitted to represent the process of thin-layer drying of agricultural products. Based on the obtained results, it was found that the Midilli model represented best the phenomenon of drying of blackberry leaves. The increase in temperature and air speed reduced the drying time of blackberry leaves and increased the values of the effective diffusion coefficient. This relation can be described by the Arrhenius equation, which has an activation energy for the liquid diffusion during drying of 65.94 and 66.08 kJ mol-1, for drying air speeds of 0.4 and 0.8 m s-1, respectively.