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In Food science & nutrition

Drying characteristics of stevia leaves were investigated in an infrared (IR)-assisted continuous-flow hybrid solar dryer. Drying experiments were conducted at the inlet air temperatures of 30, 40, and 50°C, air inlet velocities of 7, 8, and 9 m/s, and IR lamp input powers of 0, 150, and 300 W. The results indicated that inlet air temperature and IR lamp input power had significant effect on drying time (p < .05). A comparative study was performed among mathematical, Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs), and Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy System (ANFIS) models for predicting the experimental moisture ratio (MR) of stevia leaves during the drying process. The ANN model was the most accurate MR predictor with coefficient of determination (R2), root mean squared error (RMSE), and chi-squared error (χ2) values of 0.9995, 0.0005, and 0.0056, respectively, on test dataset. These values of the ANFIS model on test dataset were 0.9936, 0.0243, and 0.0202, respectively. Among the mathematical models, the Midilli model was the best-fitted model to experimental MR values in most of the drying conditions. It was concluded that artificial intelligence modeling is an effective approach for accurate prediction of the drying kinetics of stevia leaves in the continuous-flow IR-assisted hybrid solar dryer.

Bakhshipour Adel, Zareiforoush Hemad, Bagheri Iraj


drying kinetics, infrared radiation, intelligent modeling, medicinal plant, solar energy