Empirical models in the description of prickly pear shoot (Nopal) drying kinetics

<div><p>ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to describe the technological process involved in the drying kinetics of fresh-cut prickly pear shoots through numerical and analytical solutions. Shoots of two different prickly pear species were used, ‘Gigante’ and ‘Miúda’. Drying was performed at different temperatures (50, 60, 70 and 80 °C) and weighing procedures were made continuously. The experimental data were expressed as moisture ratio. The Page model showed the best fit to the drying kinetics of minimally processed ‘Gigante’ and ‘Miúda’ prickly pear shoots, with the best coefficients of determination and Chi-square. Peleg and Wang & Singh models can not be used to simulate the drying of ‘Gigante’ and ‘Miúda’ prickly pear shoots within the evaluated range of temperatures, showing an incoherent graphic pattern.</p></div>