Modeling and Simulation of Hydration Operation of Date Palm Fruits Using COMSOL MultiphysicsS. Curet , A. Lakoud , M. Hassouna 
 L’UNAM Université, ONIRIS, CNRS, GEPEA, Nantes, France
 Ecole Supérieure des Industries Alimentaires de Tunis, Tunis El Khadra, Tunisie
The control of the hydration during the thermal process of dates is crucial in order to save energy and to obtain a good quality for the final product. In this work, a theoretical model was developed in COMSOL Multiphysics software to describe the mass transfer phenomena involved in this operation. The model allowed to estimate both moisture diffusivity and convective mass transfer coefficient by using a numerical investigation which was validated experimentally. This model can be used to optimize the hydration of dates by simulating this operation and predicting times necessary to reach desired water contents. The proposed modeling approach may also help for the optimization of this operation in order to enhance the mass transfer at the surface and to reduce the energy consumption during hydration.