|Authors: ||E. Manolopoulou, E. Tsiavtari, V. Demopoulos|
|Keywords: ||Ficus carica, cultivar 'Tsapela', fruit dehydration, drying methods, physicochemical parameters|
Figs are a highly perishable product and dehydration is considered as the most suitable preservation method for prolonged shelf life.
The removal of moisture reduces microbial activity and minimizes the physical and chemical changes of the fruit during storage.
The aim of this study was to examine the effect of the drying method on the quality properties of fresh figs.
Fresh figs at the stage of commercial maturity (Ficus carica L. 'Tsapela'), the main cultivar cultivated in the Southern Peloponnese, were subjected to two different drying processes: sun drying (29-31°C, 30-40% RM) and hot air drying (60°C, 20-22% HR). The rate of moisture decline, water activity, total soluble solids, color (lightness and total color change), browning index, shrinkage (dimensions) and rehydration capacity of these drying processes were compared.
The results demonstrated that hot air drying achieved shorter processing times in moisture and water activity reduction, while total soluble solids, total color change, and shrinkage dimensions increased.
On the other hand, hot air drying had a negative effect on lightness and exhibited an increased browning index.
In both drying processes, there was no difference in the rehydration capacity of the figs.
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