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Keywords:

  • Activation energy;
  • chili flesh;
  • effective diffusivity;
  • hot-air drying;
  • microwave drying;
  • osmotic dehydration

Summary

Chili flesh pretreated with or without osmotic dehydration (OD) was dried in the hot-air drying (AD) oven at 50–80 °C or in the microwave drying (MD) oven at 60–180 W. Results showed that the samples osmotically treated in mixed solution (10% salt + 50% sucrose) had the best dehydration effect as compared with single salt or sugar solutions. During the drying process, osmotically treated samples had one falling-rate period and their effective moisture diffusivities (Deff) showed a rapidly linear increase with the decrease in moisture content, while directly drying samples showed a three-phase falling-rate period and their Deff increased gradually at the initial period and then rapidly at the final period. When the moisture content decreased, the activation energy increased gradually; however, for AD after OD, it decreased. Among all the processes, MD at 60 W after OD presented the largest vitamin C retention rate and the best colour difference, needing less drying time.