Oreochromis niloticus is an extremely perishable fish, spoiling soon after death due to enzymatic and microbial actions. Therefore, mathematical modelling and computer simulation gives insight, into the comparative performance of various drying systems. The research therefore aimed at providing quantitative description of drying behaviour and helps to predict quality changes during drying.
Thin layer drying of tilapia in conventional solar dryer (CSD) and hybrid solar dryers (HSD) was considered and sun drying was used as control. The experiment was conducted in completely randomized design (CRD) with three replicates during wet season. Eight popular thin layer models were selected and tested with the drying data obtained from the fish species (TABLE 1).
Results indicated that, in CSD (Figure 1), Midilli et al., model had the lowest standard error of estimate (0.0652) and the highest co- efficient of determination R2 (0.9879) and for HSD (Figure 1), the Wang and Singh model had the lowest standard error of estimate (0.1569) and the highest co- efficient of determination R2 (0.9326), while in sun drying, the Wang and Singh model had the lowest standard error of estimate (0.0810) and highest co-efficient of determination R2 (1.0000).
The Wang and Singh model best described the drying behaviour of Oreochromis niloticus in conventional solar dryers and it can be used to understand the heat and mass transfer phenomena in solar drying of Oreochromis niloticus using the dryer.