Many countries are facing the problem of food wastage due to a lack of proper processing, preservation, and storage space and/or methods, which can be very effectively addressed using food drying techniques. The current work discusses the design and development of a novel convective drying system which predicts both the drying and the shrinkage characteristics of any food material simultaneously at different drying air velocities and temperatures. In the present work, the shrinkage characteristics of a cylindrical shaped Elephant Foot Yam (EFY) food sample is determined by a non-intrusive imaging method. The top and side view images of the EFY sample at drying air velocities of 2, 4, and 6 m/s and at air temperatures of 313, 323, and 333 K are captured and processed using an in-house image processing code. The shrinkage characteristics reveal the nature of the transient variation of the bulk volume and the bulk density of the EFY with its moisture content. Suitable correlations developed for the bulk volume of the EFY suggests that it varies quadratically with moisture content, whereas the bulk density varies exponentially with moisture content for all drying conditions. It was also found that the developed methodology can predict the transient volume of the drying EFY sample with an accuracy of more than 70 % (case of 2 m/s and 313 K) to 95% (case of 6 m/s and 333 K) for different cases of air velocities and temperature.

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