The Viable Desiccation of Moringa Oleifera in High Humidity Environments

Open Access
Author:
Dodson, Abigail Lorraine
Area of Honors:
Elective Area of Honors - Engineering Leadership Development
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr Richard J Schuhmann, Thesis Supervisor
  • Clifford Jesse Lissenden Iii, Honors Advisor
  • Judith A Todd, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • leaf drying
  • desiccant
  • Moringa
  • moisture content
Abstract:
Moringa Oleifera, a flowering tree found in the tropics and subtropics, provides vitamin and protein nutrition to developing world communities. The leaves are dried and made into a powder form to allow for storage and future use in a variety of foods. Many rural communities are challenged by long rainy seasons that make it difficult to dry the Moringa leaves before mold and bacteria growth render the leaves inedible and unsafe for consumption. This thesis explores the use of a desiccant to aid in the Moringa leaf drying process to avoid the growth of bacteria and mold by decreasing the drying time. Montmorillonite clay, zeolites, silica gel, and molecular sieves as desiccants were compared to a controlled test with no desiccant. The drying rate and overall drying time using leaf weight comparisons showed that zeolites and montmorillonite clay were the most effective in reducing the drying time of the Moringa leaves.