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Factibilidad técnica para la obtención de panela porcionada de alta velocidad de disolución a nivel de trapiche

It is widely known that the panela sector needs urgently the improvement in the quality of heir products by incorporating convenience for consumption of panela, namely improving its dosing facility and dissolution rate. In a prospective analysis for panela sector carried out by Agropectiva Group in 2007, several opportunities to add value to panela production were identified, emphasizing the need to introduce convenience in the presentation of panela to improve its acceptance by the consumer. To contribute to the generation of solutions to this problem, once the choice of the extrusion agglomeration technology was supported, the study aimed to identification of most suitable operating conditions to introduce the required modifications. The physical-chemical and thermal behavior analysis of the sugar system of panela, along with a series of preliminary trials, gave the basis for defining the type of treatment required for raw materials and to define the working regions more appropriate to introduce instant product components in panela using the selected technique. To achieve an approach to operating conditions more suitable for the extrusion agglomeration operation, a series of preliminary tests were carried out using small pasta extruders. Results obtained gave preliminary information on working regions and figures about the highest level of moisture allowed for the raw material. In the absence of adequate facilities to carry out the operation of agglomeration at larger scale, the design and construction of a three temperature zones pilot extruder was done, which allowed to carry out the experimental part of the work, assessing the feasibility of the technique for the introduction of the changes required. Samples of the product obtained showed very good stability at environment and a higher dissolution rate compared with granulated panela as well as a great level of acceptance by representatives of the panela producers union due to its potential to improve presentation of current product and to diversify production. The feasibility for a wide use at traditional medium size panela producers due to its relative easiness for operation and relatively low cost to manufacture was concluded

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