• grapes;
  • drying;
  • modeling;
  • heat transfer;
  • mass transfer


A proposed mathematical model, based on physical and transport properties and mass and energy balances, was developed for unsteady transport of momentum, heat and mass in granular beds of agricultural products (fruits and vegetables) under convective drying conditions. The model utilized water sorption isotherm equations and the change in solid density due to shrinkage. The unsteady-state differential equations for temperature and moisture profiles within the product were numerically solved using a central finite difference scheme. Experimental data on drying conditions and product drying rates agreed with the calculated results. A design and operation parameters optimization scheme, tested for grapes, resulted in minimized drying time and high quality dried product.