• effective diffusivity;
  • mass transfer kinetics;
  • osmotic dehydration;
  • osmotic dehydration models;
  • pomegranate

Abstract:  The mass transfer kinetics during osmotic dehydration of pomegranate arils in osmotic solution of sucrose was studied to increase palatability and shelf life of arils. The freezing of the whole pomegranate at –18 °C was carried out prior to osmotic dehydration to increase the permeability of the outer cellular layer of the arils. The osmotic solution concentrations used were 40, 50, 60°Bx, osmotic solution temperatures were 35, 45, 55 °C. The fruit to solution ratio was kept 1:4 (w/w) during all the experiments and the process duration varied from 0 to 240 min. Azuara model and Peleg model were the best fitted as compared to other models for water loss and solute gain of pomegranate arils, respectively. Generalized Exponential Model had an excellent fit for water loss ratio and solute gain ratio of pomegranate arils. Effective moisture diffusivity of water as well as solute was estimated using the analytical solution of Fick's law of diffusion. For above conditions of osmotic dehydration, average effective diffusivity of water loss and solute gain varied from 2.718 × 10−10 to 5.124 × 10−10 m2/s and 1.471 × 10−10 to 5.147 × 10−10 m2/s, respectively. The final product was successfully utilized in some nutritional formulations such as ice cream and bakery products.