An Evaluation of the Effect of Moisture Content on Physical Properties and on Bed Pressure Drop in Estahban Green Fig



Green fig, a fruit usually consumed as dried is one of the important non-oil export agricultural commodities of Iran. Physical properties of green fig are vital parameters as regards the design of such post harvest processing equipments as dryers, sorters and storing chambers. In this research work the effect of moisture content on fruit characteristic dimensions, geometric mean diameter, sphericity and kernel density have been assessed. Moreover, bulk density and porosity of fig bed were found out for four filling arrangements. Airflow resistance across fig bed was studied for 11 airflow rates. All the experiments were carried out at three levels of moisture content, namely: 5.74, 20.40 and 34.08% (dry basis). Results indicated that all the measured parameters (except porosity and kernel density) increase with an increase in moisture content. As for porosity and kernel density they showed reduction by rise in fruit moisture content. The results further indicated that the airflow resistance across the fig bed increases with an increase in moisture content and at a given airflow rate. Among the proposed mathematical models for predicting the airflow resistance across a bed of different agricultural products, the Ergun model showed the best curve fitting results with the highest value for R2, and the lowest for RMSE and P%.