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International Journal of Food Science
Volume 2016, Article ID 9673029, 8 pages
Review Article

Heat Pump Drying of Fruits and Vegetables: Principles and Potentials for Sub-Saharan Africa

1Agricultural and Bio-Resources Engineering, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, PMB 373, Oye-Ekiti 371010, Nigeria
2Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa

Received 8 September 2015; Revised 17 November 2015; Accepted 14 December 2015

Academic Editor: Alejandro Castillo

Copyright © 2016 Folasayo Fayose and Zhongjie Huan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Heat pump technology has been used for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning in domestic and industrial sectors in most developed countries of the world including South Africa. However, heat pump drying (HPD) of fruits and vegetables has been largely unexploited in South Africa and by extension to the sub-Saharan African region. Although studies on heat pump drying started in South Africa several years ago, not much progress has been recorded to date. Many potential users view heat pump drying technology as fragile, slow, and high capital intensive when compared with conventional dryer. This paper tried to divulge the principles and potentials of heat pump drying technology and the conditions for its optimum use. Also, various methods of quantifying performances during heat pump drying as well as the quality of the dried products are highlighted. Necessary factors for maximizing the capacity and efficiency of a heat pump dryer were identified. Finally, the erroneous view that heat pump drying is not feasible economically in sub-Saharan Africa was clarified.