Celeriac is a good source of fibre, trace minerals, and phenolic compounds; it has a pleasant aroma but is a perishable material, prone to discolouration. This research investigated the optimisation of the quality and energy demand in hot-air dried celeriac slices. The experiment utilised the I-optimal design of response surface methodology with 30 experiment runs. Pre-drying treatments (blanching at 85 °C, three minutes; dipping in 1% citric acid solution, three minutes; no pre-drying treatment), drying temperatures (50, 60, and 70 °C), air velocities (1.5, 2.2, and 2.9 m/s), and thickness (three-, five, and seven-mm) were applied. The drying conditions affected drying time significantly (p < 0.0001). The model by Midilli and others and the logarithmic model fitted best with celeriac slices drying kinetics. Blanched samples had a higher Δ E*ab (total colour difference) and BI (browning index) but lower WI (whiteness index) than samples with other pre-drying...

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