Drying Characteristics and Quality Analysis of Medicinal Herbs Dried by an Indirect Solar Dryer

Anfal Al-Hamdani, Hemanatha Jayasuriya*, Pankaj B. Pathare, Zahir Al-Attabi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Considering the solar radiation status in Oman, a low-cost, indirect, stand-alone, forced-convective solar dryer was developed to dry medicinal herbs, which are sensitive to direct sun. The hot air flow was obtained using a solar-panel-powered blower and air passing through a black-body solar collector. This drying process could extend the shelf life of herbs while preserving their medicinal and nutritional (physicochemical) properties and adhering to food safety and hygiene practices. This study investigated the benefits of an indirect solar drying technique on the retention of quality attributes of mint and basil used in medicinal applications. Herbs used during drying could be subjected to changes in their physicochemical properties such as color, water activity (Aw), total soluble solids (TSS), phenol content, antioxidant capacity, and moisture content (MC), and, thus, results were compared with fresh herb samples. The dryer chamber-maintained temperature and relative humidity regimes of 30–50 °C and 21–95% and the expected final moisture content (wet basis) was 10%. The dryer showed improved physicochemical quality parameters and the retention of green color with parameter ranges of Aw 0.44–0.63, phenol content (increase) 1705–8994 mg/100 g DM, and antioxidant capacity (increase) 0.61–0.67 µmol/g DM, respectively. This study showed the ability of developed solar dryers to preserve the physicochemical properties of medicinal herbs during drying and can extend to other food products.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4103
JournalFoods
Volume11
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • color retention
  • drying kinetics
  • indirect solar dryer
  • medicinal herbs
  • phenol content

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science

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