OSMOTIC DEHYDRATION OF PUMPKIN (Cucurbita moschata) IN SUCROSE AND SUCROSE-SALT SOLUTIONS. EFFECT OF SOLUTION COMPOSITION AND SAMPLE SIZE
Mass transfer during osmotic dehy-dration (OD) of pumpkin cubes was studied as a function of sample size and composition and con-centration of sucrose dehydrating solution. Models of Azuara and Hawkes & Flink were adjusted to the experimental data and optimal dehydrating conditions could be specified. For equal solutes concentration, higher weight losses were reached for smaller size samples. The addition of 2% NaCl increased Water Loss (WL) and lowered Solids Gain (SG) for the solution of higher sucrose con-tent. Prediction capacity of the simplified models was very good under the tested working conditions. In brief, OD can be optimized using 1 cm side cu-bes dehydrated in binary or ternary solutions at the higher sucrose content (55ºBx), maximizing WL and minimizing SG.
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