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High-humidity hot air impingement blanching (HHAIB) enhances drying quality of apricots by inactivating the enzymes, reducing drying time and altering cellular structure

Deng, Li-Zhen, Pan, Zhongli, Mujumdar, A.S., Zhao, Jin-Hong, Zheng, Zhi-An, Gao, Zhen-Jiang, Xiao, Hong-Wei
Food control 2019 v.96 pp. 104-111
air, antioxidant activity, apricots, blanching, carotenoids, catechol oxidase, cell structures, color, dried fruit, drying, drying quality, enzyme activity, exposure duration, peroxidase, polyphenols, relative humidity, ultrastructure, water distribution
Effects of high-humidity hot air impingement blanching (HHAIB) on peroxidase (POD) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activities, ultrastructure, water distribution, drying time, and key quality attributes of apricots were investigated under air temperature of 110 °C and relative humidity of 35%–40% for various exposure times ranging from 30 to 150 s. HHAIB inactivated POD and PPO fully within 120 s, induced alteration of cellular structure and resulted in redistribution of water among the cell compartments. Compared to the untreated sample, HHAIB reduced the drying time by 19.36%–36.40%. Optimal pretreatment (120 s) resulted in dried apricots with higher total phenolics (TP) and total carotenoids (TC) along with enhanced antioxidant capacity, as well as better color. The TP, TC and antioxidant capacity were observed to be significantly correlated to POD and PPO activities, water distribution and drying time. Over-blanching (150 s) prolonged drying time, induced higher degradation of TP, TC, antioxidant capacity and color compared to dried products pre-blanched for 120 s. Hence, proper HHAIB pretreatment enhances drying process and improves the quality attributes of dried apricots.