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COMPARATIVE STUDIES OF DRYING CHARACTERISTICS OF MILKY MUSHROOM BY DIFFERENT DRYING METHODS Vishal Vatsal1, Shivam Chaurasia2

Drying is one of the oldest methods of preserving food. Drying is a heat and mass transfer process consisting of the removal of water or another solvent by evaporation from a solid, semi-solid or liquid. This process is often used as a final production step before selling or packaging products. Foods are dried to inhibit microbial development and quality decay. Drying is not only carried out to inhibit microbial growth, but also to avoid browning during storage. Drying can be accomplished by various methods which include- Tray Drying ,Vacuum Oven Drying, Microwave Drying, etc. The study emphases the effect of various drying methods on the surface properties, texture and moisture content of milky mushroom at various intervals. Drying preserves mushrooms for very long periods of time with little or no deterioration in flavor or quality. Drying actually intensifies the mushroom flavor. Dried mushroom is also convenient and easy to store and use, requiring no special equipment or refrigeration. Methods vary from sun/air drying to machine drying (dehydrators) to microwave drying. Different methods give somewhat different results. The main objective of this work is to study the effectiveness of drying methods in the context of milky mushroom and how it helps in value addition of the final product. The experiment also showcases the effect of newer methods (microwave drying) of drying on the physical properties and characteristics of milky mushroom, and how these newer methods have an advantage over the older methods. Keywords: drying, milky mushroom, microbial development and quality decay, texture and moisture content, value addition.

1- Student, B.Tech, Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology, Thanjavur, Tamilnadu 2- Student, B.Tech, Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology, Thanjavur, Tamilnadu