The focus of this research is to provide a sustainable system to manage food production by developing a food preservation system. Drying removes moisture from food so unwanted contaminants can’t permeate into the food, causing it to spoil. Additionally, drying makes food smaller and lighter, making storage easier. Biogenic hydrocarbons are released in the drying process, thus affecting the drying environment, and potentially influencing drying time and quality. This research aims to assess and optimize the drying process by investigating the role of hydrocarbons in drying process and creating a unique, sustainable system that efficiently dries and stores food.
For a plentiful yield for farmers in rural farms in Panama, there is a significant amount of melon that goes to waste because there is no storage system in place. To combat melon waste, the implementation of a drying system to preserve the melon is explored. There are many concerns that must be incorporated into the final solution, such as environmental factors and maintenance of the final product, including specifically the exploration of hydrocarbon pollutants. For these reasons, a solar dryer is a promising strategy to combat the food waste present in these crop-growing regions.