Effect of Ethanol and Ultrasound Pretreatments on Pineapple Convective Drying
Federal University of Pernambuco, Department of Chemical Engineering, Av. Prof. Arthur de Sá, s/n, Cidade Universitária, Recife-PE, 50740-521, Brazil
Received: 9 November 2020
Accepted: 19 May 2021
ascorbic acid, carotenoids, convective drying, product colour, ethanol, ultrasound
Research background. Drying represents a viable unit operation for the preservation of food. Convective drying is the most used method for plant materials. However, it can result in negative changes in food nutrient composition, and other quality parameters, besides having high energy consumption. Pretreatments can represent an alternative to minimise these negative aspects of dried materials. This work aims to evaluate the use of ethanol and ultrasound before pineapple convective drying and its effect on the product´s colour, water activity, ascorbic acid and total carotenoid contents.
Experimental approach. For the pretreatment step, fruit samples were immersed in ethanol solutions of different volume fractions, and experiments were carried out for 10 min with and without using ultrasound (25 kHz). Fruit samples were dried at 60 °C. A control group (without the pretreatment step) was also dried in the same condition. Semi-theoretical models were used for drying data fitting, and the diffusional model was used to describe the moisture transfer and calculate the effective diffusivity. Water activity, ascorbic acid, total carotenoids and colour analyses were performed.
Results and conclusions. The combination of ethanol and ultrasound as a pretreatment reduced the drying time of pineapple. Higher effective moisture diffusivities were obtained when ethanol and ultrasound were performed before drying. The two-term exponential model presented the best fit for drying experimental data. The dried samples had a darker colour than the fresh sample. The pretreatment with ethanol resulted in increased retention of the studied bioactive components. The satisfactory results of this study represent an improvement in the drying process.
Novelty and scientific contribution. Ultrasound and ethanol as a pretreatment to convective drying are promising. However, each food matrix has a typical structure and composition. Therefore, the application of the pretreatment in other products or using other conditions is still necessary to deeply understand and explain their effect on the process and the quality of dried products.