Performance Evaluation of Biomass Fired Dryer for Copra Drying: A Comparison with Traditional Drying in Subtropical Climate
- *Corresponding Author:
- Sachidananda Swain
Division of Natural Resource Management
Central Agricultural Research Institute, Port Blair-744101, India
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: December 24, 2013; Accepted Date: January 30, 2014; Published Date: February 07, 2014
Citation: Swain S, Din M, Chandrika R, Sahoo GP, Roy SD (2014) Performance Evaluation of Biomass Fired Dryer for Copra Drying: A Comparison with Traditional Drying in Subtropical Climate. J Food Process Technol 5:294. doi:10.4172/2157-7110.1000294
Copyright: © 2014 Swain S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
In tropical and sub-tropical Island climate, adverse effect of heavy rainfall (2800-3500 mm), temperature (25-35°C) and relative humidity (75-95%) year round render high microbial infection to the copra produced by farming communities using traditional methods, causing low quality of copra leading to lower income to the producers. Keeping in view, a biomass fired copra dryer has been designed, developed and tested in Andaman Islands. The aim was to increase in employment generation to the rural households who are engaged with traditional method of copra production. The results indicated that biomass fired copra took 22 hours to reduce initial moisture content from 57.4% (w.b) to 6.8% (w.b) which saved 40% and 47% of total drying time compared to two traditional methods e.g. Machan drying and sun drying. Coconut shell of 80-85 kg is used as fuel. Two persons are required to feed the fuel and maintain the constant temperature to obtain better quality copra. The copra obtained was graded as 82% MCG1, 13% MCG2 and 5% MCG3. The cost benefit ratio and payback period was found to be 1.4 and 1.5 month respectively. The coconut shell may be used for fuel which saves manpower and energy, thereby enhancing net return to the farmers.