|Authors: ||P.F. Ndlovu, O.C. Wokadala, S.Z. Tesfay, S.P. Lepule, M.E.K. Ngcobo, R.R. Mphalele|
|Keywords: ||indigenous fruit, quality parameter, activation energy, sensory attribute, browning index, consumer perception|
Drying was used as a new approach of preserving marula (Sclerocarya birrea) fruit.
The effect of forced convection drying hot-air temperature (50, 60, 70°C) and added sugar (0, 5, 10% w/w) on the moisture diffusivity, colour and consumer acceptability of marula fruit leathers was studied.
Moisture diffusivity (5.45×10‑8 - 1.28×10‑7 m2 s‑1) and activation energy (20.7-31.7 kJ mol‑1) increased with hot air temperature and sugar content.
Browning (-59.1-694.9) and yellowness indices (60.4-68.1) significantly (p≤0.05) increased with drying temperature and decreased with added sugar content.
The sugar content influenced the organoleptic texture, overall consumer acceptability and willingness-to-buy while temperature was negatively correlated with all parameters.
The presented research provides a basis for marula fruit leather processing and further research into dried marula fruit products.
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