Food Microbiology Calculation Question

timer Asked: Mar 15th, 2016

Question description

Please provide a detailed step by step solution to the Moisture-Related question below.

A food technician has a laboratory-scale dryer that is used to dry small quantities of materials for testing purposes. In one set of experiments, pineapple rings are being dried to make sweetened snacks. After several test runs with one batch of ripe pineapple having an initial moisture content of 85.3% by weight, the technician has been able to set the dryer conditions so that after 14.5 hours of gentle drying the final product moisture is 14.0%. The product specifications require the final moisture to be 14.0% ± 2.0% (i.e., the final moisture should be in the range of 12.0% to 16.0%). He continues to do tests under these conditions using 4.5 kg of starting material until he runs out of pineapple. At this point, he obtains a second batch of pineapple, which has a moisture content of 83.8%. The technician decides to dry the new batch of pineapple under exactly the same conditions as he used with the first batch. He figures that since the moisture content of the new batch of pineapple is 1.5% lower than the original batch, the moisture of the dried pineapple rings will be 1.5% lower than it was before. This means that if the final moisture was 13.5%, it would still be within the specified limits. When he removes the dried pineapple rings from the dryer after 14.5 hours, he is completely surprised to find that the moisture of the second batch of product is not 13.5% like he expected. At this point, he comes to your office wanting to discuss the rather puzzling situation. (12 marks total)

a) What moisture would you actually get if the incoming pineapple had a moisture of 83.8% and the initial dryer settings were left untouched? Express your answer as a percent moisture to one decimal place. (6 marks)

b) Using your newly found knowledge of drying technology, explain to the technician what is wrong with the logic in his reasoning about the moisture content of the final product being 1.5% lower if the moisture content of the starting material is 1.5% lower. (2 marks)

c) What should the technician do to have the second batch reach the desired 14.0% moisture level? (2 marks)

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