Revista Brasileira de Sementes
Print version ISSN 0101-3122
FANTINATTI, Jussara Bertho; USBERTI, Roberto and BROD, Fernando Pedro Reis. Sorption isotherms for Eucaliptus grandis and Pinus taeda seeds. Rev. bras. sementes [online]. 2005, vol.27, n.2, pp. 06-11. ISSN 0101-3122. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-31222005000200002.
Forest seeds must be adequately stored in order to minimise the process of deterioration. The level that limits the water in stored seeds is called the moisture equilibrium. It is possible to establish a relation between seed free water content and conservation, expressed by the water activity,, given by the relation between seed water and pure water vapour pressures, at the same temperature. An isotherm is a curve that describes, in specific moisture, the equilibrium of an amount of water sorbed by seed components and the vapour pressure or relative humidity, at a specific temperature. The main aim of this study was to analyse sorption isotherms for Eucalyptus grandis and Pinus taeda, which are forest species of economic interest. Seed moisture contents were adjusted before storage, using silica gel or rehydration above water. Seed subsample weights were recorded periodically to control the amounts of removed or sorbed water. The process was over when the corresponding weight to the desired seed moisture content had been achieved. Seed moisture content and water activity determinations have been carried out and different empirical equation models were used aiming to correlate experimental data of sorption isotherms of the seed samples. The best adjustment of the sorption isotherms was achieved through the Langmuir 3-parameter model and the Peleg 4-parameter model for seeds of E. grandis and P. taeda, respectively.
Keywords : forest species; water activity; conservation; moisture content.