Pretreatment of Palm Fruit by Using a Conveyor Belt Microwave Prototype
Keywords:pretreatment, microwave drying, oil palm, free fatty acids
This paper presents a microwave drying prototype, which is a conveyor belt design for oil palm pretreatment. The prototype consists of four 800 W magnetrons launching electromagnetic energy to the rectangular waveguide cavity. Palm fruit was fed in the cavity by the conveyor belt and pretreated in the cavity. The cavity size was designed optimally to ensure that temperature distribution in the palm fruit is uniform. Another conveyor belt is applied to the cavity output to feed out the pretreated fruit. Two corrugated waveguide filters were installed at the conveyor belt ends to suppress the microwave leakage. Three hundred sixty palm fruit were pretreated to prove the prototype concept. From the experiment results, the prototype heated palm fruit to the temperature required for inhibiting lipase enzyme within 120 seconds. It is found that free fatty acids in the treated palm fruit was well below 2% even 1 week storage.
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