Hot air generated through solar energy has many applications with one of the main one being Agricultural Drying. Solar drying is distinctly different from open air “sun drying,” which has been used for thousands of years.
A good solar food dryer dries food much faster than air drying. It can achieve higher food drying temperature, control airflow and temperature, and keep food protected while drying as well as improve the quality of the produce savings its nutrients, flavour and aromas difficult in other processes. Food drying is a practice used to preserve fruits and vegetables.
The water content of food is usually very high, typically 80% to 95% for various fruits and vegetables and 50% to 75% for various other crops. Removing moisture from food restrains various bacteria from growing and spoiling food.
Many coastal regions in the world need a low cost and hygienic method to process fish for long term storage. India is blessed with 8041 km long coastline and an exploitable marine fish reserve of 4.57 million tons in our country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Hot air is very useful in fish drying where fresh fish rapidly deteriorates unless all the water content is removed. Most foods are dried at 54 degrees centigrade which can easily be supplied through solar energy.