Food Engineering Reviews

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 34–45 | Cite as

Novel Drying Techniques for Spices and Herbs: a Review

  • Wei Jin
  • Arun S. Mujumdar
  • Min Zhang
  • Weifeng Shi
Review Article


Spices and herbs are important parts of human daily food consumption and play an essential role in seasoning and/or preserving food, curing illness, and enhancing cosmetics. Proper processing is necessary because the fresh produce has high moisture content and often high load of microorganisms. Dehydration is the most common method used to lower moisture content and hence the water activity to a safe limit which prolongs shelf life. However, consumers’ demand on processed products with most of the original characteristics of the fresh plants has increased. Consequently, drying must be executed carefully in the interest of retaining the taste, aroma, color, appearance, as well as nutritional value of the plants to maximum possible extent. In addition to quality considerations, drying efficiency is another key aspect for evaluating drying performance. This article reviews recent developments in the production of high dried spices and herbs. It attempts to detail the relative merits of selected recently developed drying techniques with focus on solar-assisted and microwave-assisted hybrid drying techniques which offer high-quality drying with excellent efficiency. Outlook for future research trends and challenges for dehydration of spices and herbs is also discussed.


Spices and herbs Drying techniques Solar Microwave Quality 



We acknowledge the financial support from National Key R&D Program of China (Contract No. 2017YFD0400501), National Natural Science Foundation Program of China (Contract No. 31671864), Jiangsu Province (China) “Collaborative Innovation Center for Food Safety and Quality Control” Industry Development Program, and Jiangsu Province (China) Infrastructure Project (Contract No. BM2014051), all of which enabled us to carry out this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Jin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Arun S. Mujumdar
    • 3
  • Min Zhang
    • 1
    • 4
  • Weifeng Shi
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Food Science and TechnologyJiangnan UniversityWuxiChina
  2. 2.Nestlé R&D Centre Shanghai Ltd.ShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Department of Chemical and Biochemical EngineeringWestern UniversityLondonCanada
  4. 4.School of Food Science and TechnologyJiangnan UniversityWuxiChina

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