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Characterization of hot-air drying and infrared drying of spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) leaves

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In this study, spearmint leaves were dried using hot-air (HA) and infrared (IR) techniques. Dried products were comprehensively analyzed for their drying time, specific energy consumption (SEC), rehydration, essential oil content and color changes. The IR drying process was carried out at radiation intensity levels of 1562, 3125 and 4688 W/m2, emitter to sample distances of 10, 15 and 20 cm and air temperatures of 30, 40 and 50 °C. For HA drying, three levels of air temperature (30, 40 and 50 °C) and air velocity (0.5, 1 and 1.5 m/s) were applied. The results indicated that drying time, SEC and color changes were lower in IR drying of spearmint than in HA drying. IR drying gave the highest essential oil content (0.95 %) and rehydration ratio (0.788 kg water/kg dry matter (DM)). Totally, it was observed that IR drying of spearmint resulted in better quality preservation and had lower energy costs in comparison to HA drying.

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Correspondence to Mehdi Khojastehpour.

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Nozad, M., Khojastehpour, M., Tabasizadeh, M. et al. Characterization of hot-air drying and infrared drying of spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) leaves. Food Measure 10, 466–473 (2016).

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