Bell pepper (BP) (Capsicum annuum L.) is popularly used as a seasoning ingredient in most breakfasts, supper, snacks, and fritter foods. Three common BP’s (green-G, yellow-Y, and red-R) are fascinating to the food technologist to develop even functional food items. Being highly perishable, it is essential to convert them into shelf-stable material, maintaining their physico-chemical, nutritional, optical, functional, and morphological properties. Thus, the effect of hot air drying at 50 to 80 ℃ at an interval of 10 ℃ on the quality attributes of GYR-BP was assessed. The dehydration studies were performed for the heat and mass transfer modeling using the finite element method applying the COMSOL Multiphysics 6.0 software. Dehydration behavior was found to be temperature dependent and significantly affected the drying rate and moisture diffusivity. The empirical model Bolbay and Sahin was found to be most appropriate in describing dehydration kinetics. Hot air drying at 60 ℃ is recommended for the drying of BP. The BP samples dehydrated at 60 ℃ showed better color retention properties, higher total phenolic and flavonoid content than those dried at different temperatures. Relative crystallinity of freeze-dried samples was found to be lower than optimized samples obtained using hot air drying. The simulated outcomes from the FEM (Finite Element Method) model were found similar to experimental findings, which indicate FEM approach may successfully be applied in predicting heat and mass transfer phenomena in the convective drying. The opto-physico-chemical, nutritional, and functional properties of developed dehydrated shelf stable all types of BP slices were assessed and presented.
Citation: Das R and Prasad K. 2023. Finite Element Modeling of Bell Pepper Slice Dehydration and Product Characterization on Opto-Physico-Chemical, Nutritional, and Functional Properties. J Food Chem Nanotechnol 9(2): 63-77.