This study was undertaken to investigate the drying characteristics of red and white varieties of onion (Allium cepa) in a convective dryer. The drying characteristics of onion slices were examined at air temperatures of 50℃, 60℃ and 70℃ and sample thicknesses of 2 mm. During the drying experiments, air velocity was held stable at 0.9 m/s. The effects of air temperature on the drying characteristics and quality parameters such as vitamins C and D, macro minerals (Mg, Na, P, Ca and K), non-enzymatic browning and thiolsulphinate of the dried onion slices were determined. For each of the plots of the drying curves from the mechanical drying tests, there was an absence of or just a very brief appearance of a constant rate period because onions are hygroscopic and hygroscopic foods tending to quickly enter the falling rate period; drying time decreased considerably with increased temperature. The time required to reduce the moisture content to any given value was dependent on the drying conditions, being the longest at an air temperature of 50℃, 0.9 m/s and the shortest at an air temperature of 70℃ and air velocity of 0.9 m/s. The loss of vitamin C, which is a thermo-sensitive compound, was the least at an air temperature of 50℃.
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