The food business has been using drying as a form of preservation for centuries. As this technology has developed, many drying systems—such as convection, conduction, radiation, and their combinations—have been used.
As was already noted, the fundamental idea behind these microwave and vacuum/microwave systems is that the energy of the microwave radiation is absorbed by a substance and converted into heat. By converting electrical energy into electromagnetic energy, a magnetron produces microwave radiation. The water molecules in the food product absorb radiation, which causes the waves to rotate. These water molecules then interact with the meal's ingredients to heat the product even more.
Before using the vacuum microwave drying method, it is important to examine the processes that take place in food matrix drying systems. A variety of systems, ranging from straightforward ones that involve altering a household microwave to complex ones that involve producing a continuous line with a mechanism that assures a homogenous movement of food, are now being created by researchers to investigate or patent this sort of equipment (Cornwell, 2008). In both instances, researchers highlight variables that may be changed in the systems, like
Since the year 2000, there has been a rise in patents for vacuum microwave drying systems and their usage in the food sector, which has led to a steady evolution of drying systems at the industrial level. The number of publications has grown by 303% since 2000. To optimize the process, the innovators have concentrated on creating machinery for continuous systems. Batch systems and continuous flow systems with load modules were both patented during the previous ten years.
Being energy mindful has grown more and more crucial in recent years. Energy conservation is becoming more and more common in industrial operations. One of the operations that uses the most energy is drying food. As a result, less energy-intensive drying solutions are investigated. When compared to alternative drying techniques, such freeze-drying, the vacuum microwave drying system delivers energy savings. Although air drying is less effective than microwave drying, it might be less expensive. Swindler et
Because microwave radiation provides heating qualities that other technologies do not, vacuum microwave drying systems are growing in popularity. In addition to being utilized in the preparation of food, microwave technology is also employed in the extraction of drugs, distillation, membrane separation, and other processes (Li et al., 2019). To increase heat homogeneity in microwave drying processes, several techniques have been devised. Applications include spinning vacuum cylinders, rotating plates, and reflecting shields.
When it comes to speed of operation, the vacuum microwave drying is among the best drying systems. It is possible to produce goods that are distinct from meals dried using other conventional methods. This study has shown how various vacuum microwave drying systems for drying food and materials have developed through time, from static systems used for research to rotational systems created in response to practical issues (such as uneven temperature distribution).