In this work, bay laurel leaves were dried using pilot‐scale, cabinet‐type, convective dryer. Drying experiments were conducted using constant air velocity of 2 m/s and air temperatures of 50, 60 and 70C. Drying rate increased with increase in air temperature and thus reduced the drying time. The experimental drying data were applied to 14 thin‐layer drying models. Nonlinear regression analysis was performed to relate the parameters of the model with the drying conditions. The performance of these models is evaluated by comparing R
2, χ2 and RMSE between the observed and predicted moisture ratios. Among all the models, Midilli et al.'s model was found to be the best for explaining the drying characteristics of bay laurel leaves. The effective moisture diffusivity ranged from 9.38 × 10−12 to 2.07 × 10−11 m2/s over this temperature range studied, with activation energy of 36.48 kJ/mol for bay laurel leaves.
Drying is the most important process to preserve agricultural products, because it has a great effect on the quality of the dried products. The objective in drying foods is the reduction of the moisture content to a level that allows safe storage over an extended period. Bay laurel plants are known for cosmetic industry, food and medicinal purposes. This study concerns the investigation of the drying characteristics and presents a mathematical model for thin‐layer drying of bay laurel leaves.