Optimisation of processing variables affecting the osmotic dehydration of pomegranate arils


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For the optimisation of osmotic dehydration by response surface methodology, the experiments were conducted according to Central Composite Rotatable Design (CCRD) with three variables at five levels. The low and high levels of the variables were 40 and 50 °C for osmotic solution temperature, 45 and 55°Bx for sucrose solution concentration, 60 and 100 min for duration of dipping in osmotic solution, respectively. The fruit to solution ratio was kept 1:4 (w/w) during all the experiments. Before dipping the arils in sucrose solution, the freezing of the whole pomegranate at −18 °C was carried out to increase the permeability of the outer cellular layer of the arils. The arils were further convectively dehydrated at 60 °C air temperature up to final moisture content of 10% (wb) to make it a shelf stable product. The optimum conditions for osmotic solution concentration, temperature and process duration were 55°Bx, 40 °C and 100 min, respectively.