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Determination of equilibrium humidity in panela.

A study was performed to optimize environmental conditions for long storage of blocks of panela (unrefined brown sugar or gur). Moisture contents in equilibrium with 6 RHs (60-90%) were determined at 13, 20, 27 and 34°C, and equations (general and for each temperature) were obtained by linear regression analysis. The use of clarol (Na hydrosulphite) had no significant effect on the equilibrium moisture content. In the conditions normally found in the regions where panela is produced, the actual moisture content of panela (8-10%) permits only brief storage before moisture absorption progressively converts it into molasses. It is recommended that panela be dried to ≤7% moisture, packed at ambient temperature into cardboard boxes, and placed in an insulated store away from its walls

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