The importance of drying and drying processes.
Drying often forms a critical part of harvest and post-harvest operations for a wide range of growers across a range of commodities. In broad acre cropping applications, it can mean the difference between a successful, profitable harvest, and significant losses. In seed production, moisture content and therefore drying, often forms a critical component of a seed’s quality and potential longevity. In essence, the drying process is a key step in the supply chain from paddock to plate for a wide range of commodities.
The drying process:
Drying is the process of reducing the moisture content of a commodity to a point at which it is suitable for storage, processing or consumption. Drying objectives typically vary between commodities, for example, broadacre grains are typically dried to deliver a safe moisture content for long-term silo storage, or to achieve an acceptable moisture content for marketing, while other commodities, like hemp seed, need to be dried immediately after harvest to ensure retained product quality. Drying rates and volumes vary depending on the commodity and the ambient conditions in which the drying process is being performed. The drying rate may also be heavily influenced by the drying method.
There are a number of popular drying methods that have been integrated into modern production practices. The ideal method varies widely depending on the type of commodity the climatic conditions, topography, access to capital, the type of operation, availability of power and fuel sources; the list goes on.
In Australia, drying is mostly a mechanised process and, for seeds and grain, typically falls into two broad categories: batch drying, continuous flow drying. Batch drying involves passing volumes of heated air through the stationary grain bulk. Continuous flow drying involves a system where the grain is passed through a series of layers that pump volumes of heated air through the grain as it moves. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. To learn more about which method would be most suitable for your operations, download the Agridry Drying Guidebook.
Products that may require drying:
- Bread crumbs
- Grass seed
Are you on the lookout for a commodity dryer for your business? Agridry are Australia’s leading manufacturers in dryers and aeration products for the agricultural and commercial food processing industries. Get in touch today with our staff today and see how we can help you.