Special Issue "Innovative Drying Approaches toward Improvement of the Physical and Bioactive Properties of Fruit and Vegetable Products"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Engineering and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2022) | Viewed by 4718

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Cristina L. M. Silva
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universidade Católica Portuguesa, CBQF - Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina - Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Rua Diogo Botelho 1327, 4169-005 Porto, Portugal
Interests: food processing; mathematical modeling; quality kinetics; predictive microbiology; non-thermal technologies; transport phenomena; design and optimization of the food chain; sustainable technology solutions
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays, consumers are aware of the importance of a healthy and sustainable diet. Drying of fruits and vegetables is an excellent approach to producing innovative products—which includes also byproducts—with appealing physical properties that are nutrient-rich.

The development of innovative pretreatments and drying processes continues to be a challenge. Microwave, UV, and sonication, among others, can be used as pretreatment or in combination with drying methods to improve sensory and nutritional quality. Moreover, there is a need for sustainable approaches in terms of using byproducts and/or processes, such as the use of techniques using natural energy sources.

Drying is also an excellent alternative to reduce production, storage, and transportation costs. However, the available information on the impact of drying and rehydration conditions on the final product’s quality remains limited.

This Special Issue of Foods will compile significant scientific contributions detailing the latest progress in this field.

Prof. Dr. Cristina L. M. Silva
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • fruits and vegetables
  • drying
  • pretreatments
  • innovation
  • physical properties
  • nutritional quality
  • byproducts
  • rehydration

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Dried Figs Quality Improvement and Process Energy Savings by Combinatory Application of Osmotic Pretreatment and Conventional Air Drying
Foods 2021, 10(8), 1846; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10081846 - 10 Aug 2021
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Abstract
This study concerns the implementation of osmotic dehydration (OD) as a pre-treatment of air-drying in fig halves, aiming at drying acceleration, energy savings and product quality improvement. The effect of solid/liquid mass ratio, process temperature (25–45 °C) and duration (up to 300 min) [...] Read more.
This study concerns the implementation of osmotic dehydration (OD) as a pre-treatment of air-drying in fig halves, aiming at drying acceleration, energy savings and product quality improvement. The effect of solid/liquid mass ratio, process temperature (25–45 °C) and duration (up to 300 min) on water activity (aw) and transport phenomena during OD, was modelled. The effective diffusion coefficients, drying time and energy consumption, were also calculated during air-drying at 50–70 °C. At optimum OD conditions (90 min, 45 °C), the highest water loss and solid gain ratio were achieved, while the aw (equal to an initial value 0.986) was decreased to 0.929. Air-drying time of OD- and control samples was estimated at 12 and 21 h, at 60 °C, respectively, decreasing the required energy by up to 31.1%. Quality of dried figs was systematically monitored during storage. OD-assisted air-drying led to a product of improved quality and extended shelf-life. Full article
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Article
Aloe vera Gel Drying by Refractance Window®: Drying Kinetics and High-Quality Retention
Foods 2021, 10(7), 1445; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10071445 - 22 Jun 2021
Viewed by 874
Abstract
In most cases, conventional drying produces inferior quality products and requires higher drying times. A continuous pilot Refractance Window® equipment was used to dry Aloe vera gel slabs of 5 and 10 mm thick at 60, 70, 80, and 90 °C, seeking [...] Read more.
In most cases, conventional drying produces inferior quality products and requires higher drying times. A continuous pilot Refractance Window® equipment was used to dry Aloe vera gel slabs of 5 and 10 mm thick at 60, 70, 80, and 90 °C, seeking a dry product with high-quality retention. Based on five empirical models, drying kinetics, diffusion coefficient, and activation energy were analyzed. Midilli–Kuck was the best predicting model. Short drying times (55–270 min) were needed to reach 0.10 g water/g solid. In addition, the technique yielded samples with high rehydration capacity (24–29 g water/g solid); high retention of color (∆E, 3.74–4.39); relatively low losses of vitamin C (37–59%) and vitamin E (28–37%). Regardless of the condition of temperature and sample thickness, a high-quality dried Aloe vera gel could be obtained. Compared with other methods, Refractance Window® drying of Aloe vera achieved shorter drying times with higher quality retention in terms of color, vitamins C and E, and rehydration. Finally, the dried Aloe vera gel could be reconstituted to a gel close to its fresh state by rehydration. Full article
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Article
Optimization of the Drum Drying Parameters and Citric Acid Level to Produce Purple Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) Powder Using Response Surface Methodology
Foods 2021, 10(6), 1378; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10061378 - 15 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1314
Abstract
Purple sweet potato (PSP) is a rich source of anthocyanins, but the anthocyanin content and color can be affected by the drying method and processing condition. Response surface methodology (RSM) with a Box–Behnken design (BBD) was used to investigate the effects of citric [...] Read more.
Purple sweet potato (PSP) is a rich source of anthocyanins, but the anthocyanin content and color can be affected by the drying method and processing condition. Response surface methodology (RSM) with a Box–Behnken design (BBD) was used to investigate the effects of citric acid (CA) concentration, steam pressure (SP) and rotation speed (DS) on the physicochemical and functional properties of drum-dried purple sweet potato powder (PSPP). The anthocyanins of the PSPP were analyzed using mass spectrometry with electrospray ionization and twelve anthocyanins were identified. The results indicated that the moisture content (4.80 ± 0.17–9.97 ± 0.03%) and water activity (0.290 ± 0.004–0.47 ± 0.001) (p < 0.05) decreased with increasing drum temperature as well as with reduced drum rotating speed. CA had a significant (p < 0.05) effect on the color and total anthocyanin content (101.83 ± 2.20–124.09 ± 2.89 mg/100 g) of the PSPP. High SP and low DS negatively affected the antioxidant properties of the PSPP. DPPH value of the PSPP ranged from 20.41 ± 0.79 to 30.79 ± 1.00 μmol TE/g. The optimal parameters were achieved at 0.59% CA, 499.8 kPa SP and 3 rpm DS. Full article
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Article
Combined Hot Air, Microwave, and Infrared Drying of Hawthorn Fruit: Effects of Ultrasonic Pretreatment on Drying Time, Energy, Qualitative, and Bioactive Compounds’ Properties
Foods 2021, 10(5), 1006; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10051006 - 04 May 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1262
Abstract
The present study aimed to examine the effect of ultrasonic pretreatment and hot air, microwave–hot-air, infrared–hot air, and freeze-drying on the drying time, specific energy (SE), qualitative properties (i.e., color, shrinkage, and rehydration ratio), and bioactive compounds’ properties (i.e., antioxidant activity, phenolic, and [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to examine the effect of ultrasonic pretreatment and hot air, microwave–hot-air, infrared–hot air, and freeze-drying on the drying time, specific energy (SE), qualitative properties (i.e., color, shrinkage, and rehydration ratio), and bioactive compounds’ properties (i.e., antioxidant activity, phenolic, and flavonoid contents) of hawthorn fruit. Drying of hawthorn was conducted from 45 min for the ultrasonic + microwave–hot-air drying to 1280 min for the freeze-drying method. The lowest amount of SE was obtained using the ultrasonic-microwave–hot-air drying method, which was 47.57 MJ/kg. The lowest values in color changes (12.25) and shrinkage (17.21%) were recorded for the freeze-drying method, while the highest amounts for these traits were 45.57% and 66.75% in the HA drying, respectively. In general, the use of different drying methods reduces the antioxidant capacity (AC), total phenolic content (TPC), and total flavonoid content (TFC) during processing compared to fresh samples. The highest values for AC, TPC, TFC, and the rehydration ratio were 30.69%, 73.07 mg-GAE/gdw, 65.93 mg-QE/gdw, and 2.02 for the freeze-drying method, respectively. Full article
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