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Vacuum Drying for Extending Litchi Shelf-Life: Vitamin C, Total Phenolics, Texture and Shelf-Life Assessment

Richter Reis, Felipe, de Oliveira, Aline Caroline, Gadelha, Gabriella Giani Pieretti, de Abreu, Marcela Breves, Soares, Hillary Isabelle
Plant foods for human nutrition 2017 v.72 no.2 pp. 120-125
Litchi, accelerated testing, ascorbic acid, color, dried fruit, drying temperature, frozen fruit, fruits, hardness, nutrients, nutritive value, phenolic compounds, shelf life, texture, vacuum drying
In an attempt to obtain shelf-stable litchi fruit with preserved nutritional quality and good sensory features, quarters of peeled and pitted fruits were vacuum dried at 50, 60 and 70 °C at a constant pressure of 8.0 kPa. The product was assessed for its vitamin C, total phenolics and texture (hardness). In addition, the product with the best texture was assessed for its shelf-life by means of accelerated testing. Results suggest that vacuum dried litchi retained almost 70% of the vitamin C and total phenolics when compared to frozen fruits (control). Vitamin C and phenolic compounds content significantly decreased with drying, while no difference was found between different drying temperatures. Hardness increased with drying temperature. The sample dried at 70 °C presented crispness, which is a desired quality feature in dried fruit products. This sample was subjected to shelf-life evaluation, whose result suggests a shelf-life of eight months at 23 °C. Total color change (CIE ΔE₀₀) was the expiry criterion. Vacuum drying was a suitable technique for producing shelf-stable litchi fruit with good texture while preserving its desirable original nutrients. Consumption of vacuum dried litchi may be beneficial to health due to its remarkable content of phenolic compounds and vitamin C.