Heat pump dehydrator uses energy efficient and environmentally friendly technology to precisely control temperature, humidity, and dwell time. It reduces product moisture content while maintaining quality characteristics, resulting in higher product yield and lower energy consumption. It also eliminates the need for fossil fuels and airborne emissions. The system consists of an air handling unit, insulated drying chamber, and PLC-based electrical controls with an operator screen.
The heat pump dryer is a low-temperature drying system that utilizes an evaporator and a condenser to remove water vapor from the air in the drying chamber and discharge it as condensed water. A heat pump can provide a very high COP (coefficient of performance) and SMER (sensible and latent heat of evapotation). The greatest source of losses in conventional drying processes is the venting of moist air, and the recouping of this energy by a heat pump can result in significant cost savings.
A number of studies have shown that using heat pump drying can improve the quality of dried foods. Heat pump drying results in less shrinkage of foods, and some studies indicate that it can produce food products with superior physical and sensory characteristics compared to traditional hot air drying.
The optimum conditions for heat pump drying vary depending on the type of food and its moisture content. Generally, it is recommended that a lower drying temperature be used at the beginning of the drying process to reduce oxidation and flavor degradation. For example, the use of a cyclic temperature schedule to dry herbs has been found to increase their color and aroma preservation (Carrington, 1999). heat pump dehydrator