Main content area

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.