PILOT PLANT FOR OSMOTIC DEHYDRATION OF FRUITS: DESIGN AND EVALUATION

Authors

  • A. VALDEZ-FRAGOSO,

    1. Secretaría de Investigación y Posgrado Facultad de Ciencias Química Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua Ciudad Universitaria s/n Chihuahua, Chih. México
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  • H. MUJICA-PAZ,

    1. Secretaría de Investigación y Posgrado Facultad de Ciencias Química Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua Ciudad Universitaria s/n Chihuahua, Chih. México
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  • F. GIROUX,

    1. ENSIA/SIARC 1101 avenue Agropolis 34033 Montpellier, Cedex 01, France
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  • J. WELTI-CHANES

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Ingeniería Química y Alimentos Universidad de las Américas-Puebla Santa Catarina Mártir 72820 Cholula, Puebla, México
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1Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: jwelti@mail.udlap.mx

ABSTRACT

This work proposes a pilot scale equipment for osmotic dehydration (OD) of apple cubes that consists of a novel agitation-immersion device, a bag filter and a vacuum evaporator to conduct simultaneously the OD process, filtration and reconcentration of the osmotic solution (OS). The functional method analysis was used to design the pilot plant. Apple cubes (∼1 cm3) were dehydrated using a 60 ° Brix sucrose syrup OS at 50C and a syrup/fruit ratio of 5. OD was conducted either with or without reconcentration of the OS. During the OD process particles of fruit were eliminated from the OS by filtration and the OS concentration was kept at 60 ° Brix by reconcentration in the evaporator. A comparison of the dehydration parameters of apple cubes obtained at pilot scale to those obtained at laboratory scale was done to evaluate the performance of the pilot equipment. The results show that the proposed set-up can be suitable for commercial production of osmodehydrated fruits.

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