Due to their hygroscopic characteristics, equilibrium moisture contents of agricultural products and byproducts are important factors of their quality. Defatted cottonseed meal (CSM), washed cottonseed meal (WCSM) and cottonseed protein isolate (CSPI) can be used as energy and protein sources of animal feedstuff or industrial raw materials. Information on their moisture adsorption behaviors is needed for their storage conditions and quality control. Thus, this work measured the equilibrium moisture sorption isotherms of CSM, WCSM and CSPI, at 15, 25, 35 and 45 °C. When the moisture contents of the samples were compared at a constant temperature, the general trend of decreasing moisture content was in the order of CSPI < WCSM < CSM for water activity <0.6, but the trend reversed to the order of CSM < WCSM < CSPI for water activity >0.6. Relevant sorption isotherm equations were tested for accurate fit to the moisture adsorption data. Modelling results indicated that the G.A.B. (Guggenheim-Anderson-de Boer) model was a consistently good fit for the data among all sample types and all temperatures. This work provides some insight on designing or selecting appropriate procedures for the handling, aeration, storage and processing of these cottonseed meal products. In particular, it suggests that moisture content should be kept at around 8% for safe storage of these products at room temperature (around 25 °C) but below 5% when they are exposed to higher temperature conditions (e.g., >45 °C).
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