Optimisation of the pulsed vacuum osmotic dehydration of cladodes of fodder palm



Fodder palm, a great source of nutrients for human and animals, grows even in arid climates. Pulsed vacuum osmotic dehydration is an efficient process for obtaining semidehydrated food. It was used to slice cladodes of fodder palm. The independent variables used were temperature (30–50 °C), pulsed vacuum pressure (50–150 mbar) and NaCl concentration (5–15 g per 100 g solution). The response variables were water activity (aw), moisture content (X), colour parameters, water loss (WL), solid gain (SG) and weight reduction (WR). The pulsed vacuum osmotic dehydration process was optimised for minimum values of aw, X and SG, and maximum values of chroma. The experimental data obtained with the optimum condition (100 mbar; 10 gNaCl per 100 g solution, 44 °C) were near the estimated ones. For example, WL, aw and ∆E, and their error were 8.15 g per 100 g, 11%; 0.985, 0.3% and 6.15, 15.2%, respectively.