Effect of Abrasive Pretreatment on Hot Dried Goji Berry
Adiletta, G.
Rizvi Alam, S.
Cinquanta, L.
Russo, P.
Albanese, D.
Di Matteo, M.
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Adiletta G., Rizvi Alam S., Cinquanta L., Russo P., Albanese D., Di Matteo M., 2015, Effect of Abrasive Pretreatment on Hot Dried Goji Berry, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 44, 127-132.
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Goji (Lycium barbarum L.) is a Solanaceous deciduous shrub that grows in China, Tibet and other parts of Asia. Nowadays, goji berries are known as being very rich in nutrients with high antioxidant capacity, fact for which they were included in the novel category of “superfruits”. Goji berries contain high amounts of antioxidants, carotenoids, vitamin A and zeaxanthin. Most of goji berries produced are dried because they are very delicate fruits. Drying process improves fruit stability, since it decreases considerably the water activity of the food, reduces microbiological and enzymatic activity and minimizes physical and chemical reactions during storage. However, drying of goji berries can be difficult due to the wax layer surrounding the fruit and the health properties may be reduced by long exposure to high temperatures.
In this study, a physical wax abrasive pretreatment was used to carefully remove the wax layer and reduce drying time. The abrasion of the goji peel was carried out in a motorized drum lined inside with sandpaper. The rotating time was optimized to reduce the damage to the fruits. The drying characteristics of pretreated and untreated fruits were studied using a convective oven at 60 °C and air velocity of 2.1 m/s.
The drying kinetics and fruit quality parameters such as colour, sugars and antioxidant activity were evaluated before and after drying. The results showed that the dried fruit were obtained in less time when they were pretreated (from 21 h for untreated samples to 15 h for pretreated samples), preserving better the colour, increasing the antioxidant activity and maintaining the same sugar content with respect to the untreated case.
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