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For drying, packaging and for sensory studies the herbs were grown in southern Finland (Helsinki 60°15'N, 25°00'E); marjoram was harvested at time of bud formation and oregano when in bloom. Herbs were either dried immediately after harvesting or were frozen and stored at —20 °C and freeze-dried within 2 weeks. For convection drying temperature was 35-37 °C and for freeze-drying 30 °C. The corresponding drying times were 24 h and 12 h (Paakkonen etal, 1990). The moisture content of fresh herbs was 85 per cent for marjoram and 75 per cent for oregano. After drying with heated air, the moisture content for marjoram was 9 per cent, and 7 per cent for oregano, but only 5 per cent after freeze-drying.

The adsorption isotherms of two marjoram powders dried with different methods showed that drying method does not affect the water-holding capacity of the dried product (Figure 9.1) (Paakkonen et al, 1990).

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