In recent years, Shuntec Co. has launched several drying projects related to betel nut. Many local betel nut plants have adopted smokeless technology and green fruit refining technology for drying betel nut. At the same time, for drying green fruit betel nut, many people adopt the original seed heat pump drying method, matched with specially formulated brine to retain the original flavor of the betel nut to a certain extent. This kind of drying method avoids the environmental pollution caused by the smoking process.
Shuntec drying equipment uses a heat pump for drying, there is no pollutant discharge during the entire drying process. It has automatic temperature control and humidity control devices, which can automatically shut down after drying. It only needs to classify the betel nut (large, medium, and small) with a sorter. After being cooked thoroughly, the betel nut is pushed into the drying room. The whole process saves a lot of labor costs, and the quality of the dried fruit is good. It uses uniform hot air circulation for drying, thus the dried betel nut shrinks evenly and will not fall off the stem, the texture is more beautiful, and there is no peculiar smell. In addition, one machine can be used for multiple purposes, except the drying function, it can also be used for food drying processing by a slight modification, which greatly reduces the idle time of the equipment and improves its efficiency of the equipment.
In terms of drying cost, taking the actual situation of the Shuntec project in Hainan province as an example, if the traditional drying method for drying betel nut green fruit is used, the comprehensive cost per kilogram is about RMB 0.6(including labor), whereas if the heat pump method is used to dry betel nut green fruit, the comprehensive cost per catty is only about RMB 0.25, which greatly reduces the baking cost and has significant benefits.
Betel nut has a lot of water content, thus you should not stack it when placing it. It is necessary to strictly control the temperature and humidity during the drying process, otherwise, the fresh fruit is likely to become moldy and deteriorated. However, the temperature should not be too high, so as to prevent the finished product from turning black after drying. If the temperature is too high, the arecoline content will also be reduced, affecting the value of the finished product.
The first stage: When the fruit has been put into the furnace, as the water content is still high, you should gradually heat up the dryer and maintain the temperature for 20 to 24 hours, so that the water gradually evaporates. It should keep for 1-2 days for discharging the water in the betel nut;
The second stage: is shovel and screening. In order to ensure that the drying speed of the betel nut is uniform, the betel nut should be screened, the large fruit and the small fruit are sorted, the large fruit is placed at the bottom of the drying room, and the temperature should be kept at about 60 °C;
In the third stage: the temperature is gradually increased (the maximum temperature cannot exceed 70 ℃), so that the water evaporates, which will automatically drain the moisture. This stage should last for 20 to 24 hours so that most of the water could be discharged;
The fourth stage: cool down the temperature to 55-60 ℃ and continue to bake for two days, so that the weight of the fruit could be reduced to 25-30% of the weight of the fresh fruit.