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Electrostatic Spray Drying for Producing Instant Tea

Study led by Chinese researchers compares electrostatic spray drying to prevailing drying technologies in processing popular pu-erh tea


Jul 23

Fluid Air, a division of Spraying Systems Co., announced today that a study of four drying technologies used to process instant Pu-erh tea endorses electrostatic spray drying as a very promising method for preserving aroma during the drying step.

The study, conducted in 2021 at Hunan Agricultural University's Key Laboratory of Tea Science of Ministry Education, compared electrostatic spray drying to the three technologies for processing instant tea: freeze drying, vacuum drying, and conventional spray drying. In pursuit of the most advantageous technology to shorten drying time and ensure flavor preservation, researchers found that electrostatic spray drying is a suitable alternative method for instant Pu-erh tea production.

The researchers examined sensory qualities, aroma profile, and microstructural features of instant pu-erh tea. The statistical analysis and sensory evaluation concluded that electrostatic spray drying achieved high preservation of volatile compounds, while producing powder with a similar quality of key flavor attributes as freeze drying and “significantly better than vacuum drying and conventional spray drying.”

Electrostatic spray drying is a continuous process technology that operates at low temperatures, saving time and reducing energy consumption. This process is only available under Fluid Air’s patented line of PolarDry spray dryers.

“Companies manufacturing products where flavor influences success will find that PolarDry is a faster, more efficient continuous processing spray drying solution,” said Michel Thenin, president, Fluid Air.

Fluid Air has 40 years of experience developing equipment and custom solutions used for modifying and creating powders and particles. Its technology is used daily to help the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, food, fine chemical, agriculture, and biopharmaceutical industries.

To read the study comparing the four spray drying technologies, visit ScienceDirect.