Simplicity by design

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

DehytrayThe American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers recently named the DEHYTRAY one of the year’s 50 best product innovations in agricultural, food and biological systems.

Klein Ileleji, professor of agricultural and biological engineering, invented the solar dryer to address the needs of home, small and midsize growers to preserve fruits, vegetables, meat, grains, spices and other foodstuffs.

Compared to open-air methods, goods dry faster with the DEHYTRAY, which can reach twice the ambient temperature. The innovation also decreases food loss by protecting products from animals and the elements.

Ileleji says the DEHYTRAY, which harnesses solar energy, embodies the idea that simple is best. Vents on its floor and side walls divert moisture and maximize heat flow. Ileleji incorporated clear acrylic sheets into the lid, which can be changed to adjust light filtration. The materials and design allow for easy setup, cleaning and storage.

DEHYTRAY is licensed by Purdue-affiliated startup JUA Technologies International. Ileleji founded the company with his wife, Reiko Habuto Ileleji, who earned her PhD from Purdue’s College of Education.

“Purdue has great programs, and those programs do great things,” Ileleji says, “but the catalyst that sends these great things out to be shared with the world is our entrepreneurship ecosystem.”

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