Effects of freezing treatments before convective drying on quality parameters: Vegetables with different microstructures
Publication date: Available online 9 January 2019
Source: Journal of Food Engineering
Author(s): Francisca Vallespir, Óscar Rodríguez, Valeria S. Eim, Carmen Rosselló, Susana Simal
Effects of freezing (at −20, −80 and −196 °C) before convective drying (at 50 °C and a flow rate of 1 m/s) on microstructure, texture, total polyphenol content (TPC) and antioxidant activity (AA) of vegetables with different porosity, beetroot (low), apple (medium) and eggplant (high), have been studied. Drying time of frozen samples was 11-32% shorter (p<0.05) than untreated samples. The highest drying time reductions were obtained in eggplant (22±10%) and the lowest in beetroot (14±3%). Changes in microstructure after freezing were remarkable at −20 and −80 °C, but minor after freezing by liquid nitrogen immersion in beetroot and apple; and not significant (p>0.05) in eggplant. The elastic modulus decreased 96±2% and the stress-strain curves were significantly lower (p<0.05) with no rupture point in the three vegetables after all freezing treatments. Both TPC and AA of frozen samples were significantly lower (p<0.05) than those of untreated samples before and after drying, except in beetroot frozen by immersion in liquid nitrogen, which was not significantly different (p>0.05) to untreated sample. Freezing by immersion in liquid nitrogen promoted the lowest TPC and AA reductions in apple and eggplant. In conclusion, freezing pre-treatment before drying affected differently depending on both, the freezing rate and the original microstructure of the vegetable.
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