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Evaluation and modelling of osmotic pre‐treatment of peach using alternative agents in a multiple‐component solution

Dermesonlouoglou, Efimia K, Giannakourou, Maria C
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2019 v.99 no.3 pp. 1240-1249
analysis of variance, color, erythritol, exports, extended shelf life, fruits, glucosides, glycerol, harvesting, markets, mass transfer, mathematical models, osmotic treatment, peaches, salts, steviol, temperature, texture, water activity
BACKGROUND: Peach is a perishable fruit of great importance for the Greek food export market which is prone to rapid deterioration after harvesting. Its short shelf life can be substantially prolonged by applying an appropriate osmotic dehydration (OD) pre‐treatment, which is a mild, non‐thermal procedure. The aim of this study was to describe mass transfer and quality retention induced by the OD process. RESULTS: Peach pieces were immersed in tertiary solutions of glycerol, erythritol, steviol glucosides and mineral salts at pre‐selected OD conditions (25–45 °C for 3–240 min, wfᵣᵤᵢₜ/wₛₒₗᵤₜᵢₒₙ = 1:5). Water loss (WL), solid gain (SG), water activity (aw) as well as representative quality indices (colour, texture) were measured during OD, showing that osmotically dehydrated peach presented significant aw reduction (from 0.97 to 0.88) combined with quality retention. CONCLUSION: This research showed that OD can be an effective pre‐processing step in the production of intermediate moisture novel products. A second‐degree polynomial model was developed describing adequately the effect of OD time and temperature and glycerol concentration on WL, SG, aw, colour and texture of osmotically dehydrated peach, and analysis of variance was applied to identify those factors that significantly affect the aforementioned parameters. It was concluded that OD using alternative osmotic agents is an efficient method with respect to product colour and texture retention, allowing for the production of novel products with extended shelf life. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry