Advances in understanding of osmotic dehydration and vacuum impregnation of fruits

Tylewicz, Urszula (2011) Advances in understanding of osmotic dehydration and vacuum impregnation of fruits, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e biotecnologie degli alimenti, 23 Ciclo.
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Osmotic Dehydration and Vacuum Impregnation are interesting operations in the food industry with applications in minimal fruit processing and/or freezing, allowing to develop new products with specific innovative characteristics. Osmotic dehydration is widely used for the partial removal of water from cellular tissue by immersion in hypertonic (osmotic) solution. The driving force for the diffusion of water from the tissue is provided by the differences in water chemical potential between the external solution and the internal liquid phase of the cells. Vacuum Impregnation of porous products immersed in a liquid phase consist of reduction of pressure in a solid-liquid system (vacuum step) followed by the restoration of atmospheric pressure (atmospheric step). During the vacuum step the internal gas in the product pores is expanded and partially flows out while during the atmospheric step, there is a compression of residual gas and the external liquid flows into the pores (Fito, 1994). This process is also a very useful unit operation in food engineering as it allows to introduce specific solutes in the tissue which can play different functions (antioxidants, pH regulators, preservatives, cryoprotectants etc.). The present study attempts to enhance our understanding and knowledge of fruit as living organism, interacting dynamically with the environment, and to explore metabolic, structural, physico-chemical changes during fruit processing. The use of innovative approaches and/or technologies such as SAFES (Systematic Approach to Food Engineering System), LF-NMR (Low Frequency Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), GASMAS (Gas in Scattering Media Absorption Spectroscopy) are very promising to deeply study these phenomena. SAFES methodology was applied in order to study irreversibility of the structural changes of kiwifruit during short time of osmotic treatment. The results showed that the deformed tissue can recover its initial state 300 min after osmotic dehydration at 25 °C. The LF-NMR resulted very useful in water status and compartmentalization study, permitting to separate observation of three different water population presented in vacuole, cytoplasm plus extracellular space and cell wall. GASMAS techniques was able to study the pressure equilibration after Vacuum Impregnation showing that after restoration of atmospheric pressure in the solid-liquid system, there was a reminding internal low pressure in the apple tissue that slowly increases until reaching the atmospheric pressure, in a time scale that depends on the vacuum applied during the vacuum step. The physiological response of apple tissue on Vacuum Impregnation process was studied indicating the possibility of vesicular transport within the cells. Finally, the possibility to extend the freezing tolerance of strawberry fruits impregnated with cryoprotectants was proven.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Tylewicz, Urszula
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze agrarie
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
osmotic dehydration vacuum impregnation fruits structure SAFES
Data di discussione
26 Maggio 2011

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