Abstract: The effect of spray drying on degradation of nutraceutical components in cull blueberry extract was investigated. Samples collected before and after spray drying were tested for antioxidant capacity using oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORACFL) and total phenolics; and for individual anthocyanidins. In Study 1, four different levels of maltodextrin (blueberry solids to maltodextrin ratios of 5: 95, 10: 90, 30: 70, and 50: 50) were spray dried a pilot-scale spray dryer. There was significantly higher retention of nutraceutical components with increased levels of maltodextrin indicating a protective effect of maltodextrin on the nutraceutical components during spray drying. In Study 2, the air inlet temperature of the spray dryer was kept constant for all runs at 150 °C, with 2 different outlet temperatures of 80 and 90 °C. The degradation of nutraceutical components was not significantly different at the 2 selected outlet temperatures. ORACFL reduction for blueberry samples after spray drying was 66.3% to 69.6%. After spray drying, total phenolics reduction for blueberry was 8.2% to 17.5%. Individual anthocyanidin reduction for blueberry was 50% to 70%. The experimental spray dried powders compared favorably to commercial blueberry powders. Results of the study show that use of blueberry by-products is feasible to make a value-added powder.
Practical Application: Results can be used by producers to estimate final nutraceutical content of spray-dried blueberry by-products.