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Degradation of carotenoids in pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima L.) slices as influenced by microwave vacuum drying
- Song, Jiangfeng, Wang, Xiaoping, Li, Dajing, Meng, Lili, Liu, Chunquan
- International journal of food properties 2017 v.20 no.7 pp. 1479-1487
- Cucurbita maxima, air drying, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, color, energy, isomerization, pumpkins, reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography, vacuum drying
- The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of microwave vacuum drying on carotenoids in pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima L.) slices. Carotenoids were measured using the reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography technique. It was shown that compared with hot air drying, microwave vacuum drying inhibited color changes and significantly (p < 0.05) improved total carotenoid retention (89.1%) in pumpkin slices. During the microwave vacuum drying process, microwave power had an important effect on total carotenoid and all-trans carotenoids. As microwave power increased, the total carotenoid content significantly decreased (p < 0.05), and the levels of individual carotenoids, including all-trans- α-carotene, all-trans- β-carotene, and all-trans -lutein, generally decreased. However, there was an overall upward trend for the levels of 13- cis -β-carotene, 15- cis -β-carotene, 9- cis -β-carotene, and 9- cis -α-carotene. The trans carotenoid quality of the finished products was improved within a certain range of vacuum levels. In addition to the degradation induced by microwave energy, isomerization was considered to be responsible for the loss of all-trans carotenoids. These results indicated that inappropriate drying methods and conditions might result in high losses of all-trans carotenoids in pumpkins.