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P.C. Corra1, A.L.D. Goneli1, C. Jaren2*, D.M. Ribeiro1 and O. Resende1

1Department

P.O. Box 270, 36570-000 Viosa-MG, Brazil

2Department of Proyect and Rural Engineering, Public University of Navarre, Campus Arrosadia,

31006 Pamplona, Spain

This study was carried out to evaluate the sorption isotherms of peanut pods, kernels and hulls for several

temperature and humidity conditions and to fit different mathematical models to the experimental data,

selecting the one best fitting the phenomenon. The dynamic method was applied to obtain the hygroscopic

equilibrium moisture content. The environmental conditions were provided by means of an atmospheric

conditioning unit, in which removable perforated trays were placed to allow air to pass through peanut

mass, each one containing 50 g of the product. The mathematical models frequently used for the representation of hygroscopicity of agricultural products were fit to the experimental data. Based on those results,

it was concluded that peanut pods, kernels and hulls presented differentiated hygroscopicity. The equilibrium

moisture content for peanut pods, kernels and hulls increased with an increase in the relative humidity at any

particular temperature and decreased with increase in temperature at constant relative humidity. At a

constant water activity, peanut hulls samples had higher equilibrium moisture content than the pods and

kernels samples. Based on statistical parameters, the modified Henderson and Chung-Pfost models were

found to adequately describe the sorption characteristics of peanut pods, kernels and hulls. Isosteric heat

of desorption were evaluated by applying the ClausiusClapeyron equation to experimental isotherms

and decreased with increasing moisture content. The peanut hulls had higher isosteric heat of sorption

than that peanut pods and kernels.

Key Words: equilibrium moisture content, Arachis hypogaea, mathematical models, desorption, isosteric heat

INTRODUCTION

Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is a dicotyledonous leguminous plant originated from Central America and

adapted to equatorial-tropical climate, presenting high

contents of proteins, vitamins, lipids, carbohydrates and

mineral salts. Peanuts are composed of a hull, kernels

and some air enclosed between two components, thereby

making their structure quite complex. Limited data on

the sorption properties of peanuts has been reported in

the literature.

Peanut harvesting is many times conducted under

adverse climatic conditions, especially during heavy

*To whom correspondence should be sent

(e-mail: cjaren@unavarra.es).

Received: 19 October 2005; revised: 17 October 2006.

Food Sci Tech Int

2007; 13(3): 231238

SAGE Publications 2007

Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore

ISSN: 1082-0132

DOI: 10.1177/10820132013207079601

and toxin production due to traditional harvesting, drying and storage practices.

The control of moisture content of foods during processing and storage is very important as water has many

roles in food reactions and food quality. In this respect

the moisture sorption isotherm is an extremely important tool in food science because it can be used to predict changes in food stability and to select appropriate

packaging materials and ingredients (Ayranci and

Duman, 2005).

All agricultural products have the capacity to loss or

absorb ambient water, thus maintaining a constant equilibrium relation between their moisture content and the

ambient air conditions. Equilibrium moisture content

(EMC) is attained when partial water vapor pressure is

equal to that of the air that surrounds it. The relation

between the moisture content of a given product and

the equilibrium relative humidity (ERH) for a specific

temperature may be expressed by mathematical equations, termed moisture sorption isotherms. In every food

product there is an inherent relationship between water

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232

information about the dehydration process energy

equilibrium with it, which is equivalent to water activity.

requirement, the properties of water, food microstrucThe chemical composition of a product has a direct

ture and physical phenomena on the food surfaces, and

influence on the humidity sorption process. According

sorption kinetic parameters. One method widely used

to Brooker et al. (1992), grains with high oil content

for calculation of isosteric heat of sorption of many

adsorb smaller amount of moisture from the environfoods is based on the ClausiusClapeyron equation,

ment than grains with high starch content. Moreover,

which assumes temperature-independent heat of sorpthe variety, degree of maturity, and physical and sanition and allows an easy calculation of the isosteric heat

tary conditions as well as the method through which

from the sorption isotherms (Aguerre et al., 1988).

equilibrium was obtained (adsorption or desorption)

In view of the importance of understanding the

are also determining factors in the establishment of the

hygroscopicity of agricultural products, this work aimed

equilibrium humidity of hygroscopic products (Chen,

to determine the sorption isotherms of peanut pods,

2000b; Fan et al., 2000).

kernels and hulls for various temperature and air relative

Moisture sorption isotherms may be obtained experhumidity conditions and to fit different mathematical

imentally by means of the dynamic and static methods.

models to the experimental data, selecting the best-fitting

In the dynamic method, the pod is submitted to air flow

model, and calculate the isosteric heat of sorption at

under controlled and fixed temperature and relative

different moisture levels.

humidity conditions until equilibrium is reached. In the

static method, the hygroscopic equilibrium between the

product and the environment, under controlled condiMATERIAL AND METHODS

tions, is reached without air movement (Wang and

Brennan, 1991; Jayas and Mazza, 1991; Chen, 2000b).

The present work was carried out in the Laboratory

Several researchers have studied the hygroscopic

for the Physical Properties and Quality Evaluation of

behaviour of several agricultural products, describing

Agricultural Products of National Grain Storage

differentiated models to express the EMC as a function

Training Center CENTREINAR, Federal University

of the temperature and air relative humidity. However,

of Viosa, Viosa, MG, Brazil.

for the establishment of isotherms that represent this

The initial moisture content of peanut pods, kernels

equilibrium relation, empirical mathematical models

and hulls were 31.0, 25.0 and 47.0% dry basis, respecare used, since no theoretical model has been capable

tively. Samples were stored in polythene bags kept in a

of precisely predicting the EMC for a wide range of

refrigerator to attain moisture uniformity. When needed

temperature and air relative humidity.

for experiments, samples were allowed to equilibrate at

Over 200 equations are currently available in the

ambient condition for 6 h. The peanut pods, kernels and

literature proposing to represent the hygroscopic equihulls moisture content was determined by applying the

librium phenomenon of agricultural products. Such

drying in an oven at 105 1C, for a 24 h period, in tripmodels differ in their theoretical or empirical basis and

licate according to the seeds analysis standard of Brazil

number of parameters involved (Mulet et al., 2002).

(Ministrio da Agricultura e Reforma Agrria, Brazil,

The modified Henderson equation and Chung Pfost

1992).

equation were the best models for many starchy grains

The sorption method used was the dynamic techand fibrous materials. The modified Halsey equation was

nique or gravimetric method, in which the material is

the best for high oil and protein products. The modified

brought into equilibrium with air of fixed temperature

Oswin model was good for popcorn, peanut pods and

and relative humidity and the equilibrium moisture conother varieties of corn and wheat (Chen, 2000b; Chen

tent (EMC) of the material is measured. Thin-layer dryand Morey, 1989). The GAB model was very popular to

ing was carried out at different controlled temperature

be adopted by some researchers (Ayranci and Duman,

(20, 35, 50 and 65C) and air relative humidity of the dry2005; Mulet et al., 2002; Pagano and Mascheroni, 2005;

ing air (between 0.2 and 0.8) until the product reached

Van den Berg, 1984). However, this model was found to

equilibrium humidity at the specified air condition.

be inadequate to describe the relationship between

The environmental conditions for the performance of

moisture content and water activity for some agricultural

the tests consisted of a temperature controlled chamber,

products (Chen, 2002, 2003; Chen and Jayas, 1998).

manufactured by Aminco, model Aminco-Aire 150/300

Moisture sorption isotherms constitute an essential

CFM. Removable perforated trays containing 50 g of

part of the theory of drying and provide useful informaproduct were placed inside the equipment to allow air to

tion in the design of drying equipment and in the study

pass through the samples. Air flow was monitored with

of storage of dehydrated products. A thermodynamic

an anemometer with rotating blades and kept around

parameter such as isosteric heat is frequently evaluated

10 m3/min/m2. Temperature and air relative humidity

from equilibrium data at different temperatures

were monitored with a psychrometer installed next to

(Iglesias and Chirife, 1976).

the trays containing the samples.

The application of thermodynamic principles to

The trays containing the product were periodically

sorption isotherm data has been used Downloaded

to obtain

more

weighed

during drying. Hygroscopic equilibrium was

from fst.sagepub.com at Reprints Desk Inc PARENT on February 27, 2015

reached when the mass variation of the containers

remained constant during three consecutive readings.

In this work, the relationship between the equilibrium

moisture content data and the relative humidity and

temperature for peanuts pods, kernels and hulls was

evaluated according to the models of ChungPfost

(Pfost et al., 1976), Copace (Corra et al., 1995), modified Halsey (Iglesias and Chirife, 1976b), modified

Henderson (Thompson, 1972), modified Oswin (Chen

and Morey, 1989) and GAB (Anderson, 1946). These

models are presented in Table 1 where Me is the equilibrium moisture content (% dry basis), t is the temperature (C), rh is the relative humidity (decimal), A, B

and C are parameters of models.

The experimental data were interpreted by means of

non-linear regression analysis by the Quasi-Newton

method, using a computer program STATISTICA 6.0.

The models were selected based on the significance of

the regression coefficients by the t-test, at 1% probability, the mean relative error (MRE), the standard error

of estimate (SEE), the determination coefficient (R2)

and residual distributions plots were used to evaluate

the fitting quality.

The mean relative error value lower than 10 was one of

the criteria for selecting the models, according to

Mohapatra and Rao (2005).The mean relative error MRE

and the standard error of estimate SEE are given by:

MRE =

M

n i=1

exp

( M

n

SEE =

i =1

M pre

exp

(6)

(7)

Df

EMC of products of vegetable origin.

Model

Model Expression

Chung-Pfost

Me

Copace

Me

Modified Halsey

Me

Modified Henderson

Me

Modified Oswin

Me

GAB

Me

the value predicted by the model; N is the number of data

points; Df is the degrees of freedom of regression model.

The residuals were plotted against predicted values of

EMC. A model is considered acceptable if the residual

values fell in horizontal band centered around zero, displaying no systematic tendencies (i.e., random in nature)

towards a clear pattern. If the residual plot indicates

clear pattern, the model is not considered acceptable.

The net isosteric heat of sorption was determined

from moisture sorption data using the following equation, which is derived from the ClausiusClapeyron

equation (Iglesias and Chirife, 1976a):

q

ln(rh)

= st 2

T

R T

(8)

heat of sorption (qst) is temperature independent, gives

the following equation (Wang and Brennan, 1991):

q 1

ln(rh) = st + K

R T

(9)

is the universal gas constant (kJ/kg/K), T is absolute

temperature (K).

The sorption isosteric heat Qst can be calculated by

adding the latent heat of vaporization for pure water L

to the net sorption isosteric heat qst (Sanchez et al.,

1997):

233

(10)

latent heat of vaporisation for pure water, kJ/kg for

the temperatures taken into account; a and b are

constants.

equilibrium

moisture content of peanuts pods presented

= A B ln (t + C ) ln( rh)

significant regression coefficients at 1% probability and

= exp A ( Bt ) + (Crh)

values of determination coefficient (R2) above 93%

(Table 2). The modified Halsey model gave a relative

1/ C

exp( A Bt )

mean error above 10%, showing to be inadequate to

=

ln( rh)

describe the equilibrium moisture content (zdemir

and Derves, 1999). The residual plot of modified Halsey

1/ C

ln(1 rh)

model displayed a clear pattern. Thus, the model was

=

A (t + B)

also non acceptable. However, the Copace, ChungPfost, modified Henderson and modified Oswin models

1/ C

rh

= ( A + Bt )

presented a better fitting to the experimental data of

(1 rh)

equilibrium moisture content of peanut pods, showing

random residual plot, smaller mean relative error

ABC ( rh)

=

(lower than 10%). Thus, the application of these four

[1 B( rh)][1 B( rh) + BC ( rh)]

models is recommended to estimate the equilibrium

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234

Table 2.

Estimated parameters and comparison criteria for the equilibrium moisture content models

of peanut pods desorption data.

Model Parameters*

Models

Chung-Pfost

Copace

Modified Halsey

Modified Henderson

Modified Oswin

23.8213

1.1878

3.6073

0.0005

8.3203

4.1930

0.0079

0.0158

51.6250

0.0510

49.3712

1.9151

1.8467

1.5244

2.3683

R2 (%)

96.52

96.27

95.06

96.72

96.30

SEE (% d.b.)

0.5542

0.5733

0.6601

0.5381

0.5717

MRE (%)

7.1140

9.2428

10.7800

7.8789

8.8750

Residual Plot

Randon

Randon

Patterned

Randon

Randon

better fit to the experimental data of equilibrium moisture content of peanut pods with the Oswin model.

For the peanut kernels, the coefficients estimated for

the models showed significance at 1% probability by

the t-test and relative mean error below 10% (Table 3).

In addition, all the models showed a coefficient of

squared above 95%, except the modified Halsey model.

However, only the modified Henderson and ChungPfost models presented a random residual plot. The

Chung-Pfost model exhibited a higher determination

coefficient and lower estimated and mean relative error

and standard error of estimate, being thus recommended

for predicting the hygroscopic equilibrium of peanut

kernels. This result disagreed with Chen (2000a) who

recommended the modified Halsey model, and with

Chen and Morey (1989) who used modified Halsey and

modified Oswin models to estimate the hygroscopic

equilibrium of peanut kernels.

For the peanut hull, all the models presented values of

determination coefficient above 96% (Table 4). Besides,

the models studied presented significant coefficients at

1% probability by the t-test, and mean relative error

below 10%.As well as the peanut pods, only the modified

Halsey model was inadequate to describe the equilibrium

moisture content in peanut hulls because the residual plot

indicated clear pattern. Chen and Morey (1989) observed

that the modified Henderson equation satisfactorily

Table 3.

data, and Chen (2000a) recommended the Chung-Pfost

model to predict equilibrium humidity of the peanut hull,

being both in agreement with this work.

All residual plots of the GAB model for samples

dried at four temperatures had systematic patterns

(Table 5). The results indicated that the GAB equation

was not an adequate model either for peanut pods, kernels or hulls. A similar systematic pattern of residual

plots also were found for the GAB models of desorption and adsorption data for potato slices (Wang and

Brennan, 1991) and cassava (Sanni et al., 1997). These

results agreed with Chen and Jayas (1998) investigations on adequacy of the GAB equation to describe

EMC/ERH relation for agricultural products.

The desorption isotherms for peanut pods, kernels

and hulls obtained at 20, 35, 50 and 65C (Figures 14,

respectively) were adjusted by fitting the modified

Henderson model, Eq. (4), to the experimental data.

The equilibrium moisture content at each water activity

represents the mean value of three replications. As

expected, the equilibrium moisture contents increased

with an increase in the relative humidity at any particular temperature and decreased with increase in temperature at constant relative humidity.

At higher temperature water molecules reach higher

energy levels and this allows them break away from

their sorption sites, thus decreasing the equilibrium

Estimated parameters and comparison criteria for the equilibrium moisture content models

of peanut kernels desorption data.

Model Parameters*

Models

Chung-Pfost

Copace

Modified Halsey

Modified Henderson

Modified Oswin

A

19.8681

1.0877

3.6797

0.0003

6.8118

B

3.2246

0.0051

0.0120

85.5428

0.0302

C

75.5245

1.6755

2.0960

1.7519

2.7020

R2 (%)

97.08

95.54

93.68

96.54

95.65

SEE (% d.b.)

MRE (%)

Residual Plot

0.3730

0.4607

0.5484

0.4059

0.4549

6.1137

8.6219

9.9758

7.2175

8.2203

Randon

Patterned

Patterned

Randon

Patterned

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Table 4.

235

Estimated parameters and comparison criteria for the equilibrium moisture content models

of peanut hulls desorption data.

Model Parameters*

Models

Chung-Pfost

Copace

Modified Halsey

Modified Henderson

Modified Oswin

37.2538

1.7432

4.6864

0.0002

14.0039

6.6636

0.0089

0.0179

38.4115

0.0925

C

37.7956

1.8720

1.8827

1.5619

2.4131

R2 (%)

SEE (% d.b.)

MRE (%)

96.72

97.39

96.55

97.66

97.35

0.8787

0.7831

0.9011

0.7421

0.7895

7.2498

7.0524

8.5662

5.8444

6.7912

Residual Plot

Randon

Randon

Patterned

Randon

Randon

moisture content (Palipane and Driscoll, 1992). As temperature changes, the excitation of molecules, as well as

the distance, and thus attraction between molecules

varies. This causes the amount of sorbed water to

change with temperature at a given relative humidity

(Mohsenin, 1986).

The temperature shifts observed have an important

practical affect on the chemical and microbiological

reactions which cause quality deterioration. An increase

in temperature causes an increase in the water activity,

at the same moisture content, which in turn causes an

increase in the reaction rates leading to quality deterioration (Van den Berg and Bruin, 1981).

The sorption isotherms of peanut pods, kernels and

hulls samples showed type II behaviour according to

the BET classification. At a constant water activity,

peanut hulls samples had higher equilibrium moisture

content than the pods and kernels samples, indicating a

Table 5.

to the separation of hulls from peanut kernels, since

hulled process reduces the fibre content, which absorbs

more water. These results agreed with those found by

Kaya and Kahyaoglu (2006) who evaluated the influence of dehulling and roasting process on the thermodynamics of moisture adsorption in sesame seed. In all

range of temperature used, the sorption isotherms of

peanut pods and kernels had similar values.

The interaction between water vapour and the adsorbent food material should be determined to define

effect of temperature, isosteric heat of sorption (Qst). At

constant moisture content, relative humidity of the

equilibrium at each studied temperature were determined using the modified Henderson model (since it

fitted the experimental data satisfactorily). The isosteric

heat of sorption values was calculated by applying

Eqs. (9) and (10), and represented with respect to

Estimated parameters of GAB model for peanut pods, kernels and hulls desorption data.

Model Parameters*

t(C)

Pods

20

35

50

65

5.5786*

4.5593*

22.2841 ns

21.5076 ns

0.6337*

0.6868*

0.0097 ns

0.0035 ns

7.0288

11.6252

69.7799

166.3946

ns

Kernels

20

35

50

65

5.7234*

4.9688*

14.4176 ns

32.0225 ns

0.7402*

0.7497*

0.2435 ns

0.0067 ns

7.4220

8.5307

4.1322

58.6284

ns

Hulls

20

35

50

65

8.3337*

8.3536*

8.4497*

31.6009 ns

0.7945*

0.7249*

0.6869*

0.0154 ns

11.3414 ns

8.5374 ns

5.4861*

46.6346 ns

ns

ns

ns

ns

ns

ns

R2 (%)

SEE (% d.b.)

97.05

95.44

93.19

92.77

0.3211

0.4156

0.4151

0.3268

3.2341

4.3730

7.3296

7.0494

Patterned

Patterned

Patterned

Patterned

91.94

96.36

93.29

90.88

0.7803

0.4996

0.4647

0.4121

6.8384

5.0275

7.3610

8.3395

Patterned

Patterned

Patterned

Patterned

95.08

95.67

95.52

96.77

1.0325

0.8516

0.5815

0.3541

5.4565

5.8888

6.3883

3.9581

Patterned

Patterned

Patterned

Patterned

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MRE (%)

Residual Plot

236

peanut pods (), kernels () and hulls () obtained

by desorption at 20C, and their isotherms calculated

by the modified Henderson model.

peanut pods (), kernels () and hulls () obtained

by desorption at 50C, and their isotherms calculated

by the modified Henderson model.

peanut pods (), kernels () and hulls () obtained

by desorption at 35C, and their isotherms calculated

by the modified Henderson model.

peanut pods (), kernels () and hulls () obtained

by desorption at 65C, and their isotherms calculated

by the modified Henderson model.

equilibrium moisture content (Figure 5). At low moisture content the heat of sorption is high, indicating the

highest binding energy for removal of water. Increasing

moisture content decreased the heat of sorption due to

reduced water interactions. As the moisture content

increases further, the heat of sorption tends to that of

pure water an indication of the moisture existing in the

free form. The isosteric heat of sorption peanut hulls

was lower than those of pods and kernels samples for all

found by Martinez and Chiralt (1996), who reported

that the hulled process decreased the heat of sorption

values of hazelnut, almond and peanut samples, likely

due to enhancement of lipidlipid interaction that

increases the hydrophobicity of cellular components of

seeds. The net isosteric heat of sorption with respect to

equilibrium moisture content was adequately described

by the power law relation of the form:

Peanut pods:

Peanut kernels:

Peanut hulls:

(R 2 = 0.9999)

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237

REFERENCES

contents for peanut pods (), kernels () and hulls ().

sorption, at a specific moisture content, provides an

indication of the state of the sorbed water and hence, a

measure of the physical, chemical and microbiological

stability of the food material under given storage conditions. In addition the variation in heat of sorption with

moisture content, and magnitude relative to the latent

heat of vaporization of pure water, provides valuable

data for energy consumption calculations and subsequent

design of drying equipment, and an understanding of

the extent of the watersolid versus waterwater interactions (McMinn and Magee, 2003).

CONCLUSION

The experimental results illustrated that the equilibrium moisture content (EMC) increased with decreasing temperature, at constant equilibrium relative

humidity (ERH). Furthermore, at constant temperature, the EMC increased with increasing ERH. Peanut

pods, kernels and hulls have different hygroscopicity.

The order in the magnitude of equilibrium moisture

contents at each water activity values was found as

peanut hulls peanut pods peanut kernels. Based on

statistical parameters, the models modified Henderson

and Chung-Pfost were the ones best representing the

hygroscopicity phenomenon of peanut pods, kernels

and hulls, compared with the Copace, modified Halsey

and modified Oswin models. The GAB equation was

not an adequate model for either peanut pods, kernels

or hulls. The isosteric heat of desorption of all samples,

calculated using the ClausiusClapeyron equation,

showed power relations with moisture content; whole

peanut hulls has higher isosteric heat of sorption than

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