The drying characteristics of nutmegs


Two series of experiments were carried out in order to determine the drying characteristics of nutmegs under controlled conditions. The experiments showed that the moisture content, w could be related to time, ?, by the following equation: (w-we)/(wi – we) = exp ( - k?) Where w1 is the initial moisture content. The constant, k, can be related to temperature, t, by: k = 0.00412 t – 0.00552 and the equilibrium moisture content by: ln we = 2.577 – 1.55 ln t over the range 26º to 50ºC. The results also indicated that oil losses during the drying of whole nutmegs were slight and that there was an excessive percentage of broken nutmegs at temperatures above 40°C. It is concluded that current commercial drying times could be much reduced by drying at a constant temperature of 40°C.