The present study investigated the osmotic dehydration (OD) of mangoes cv. Palmer, dehydrated in a sucrose solution with added ascorbic acid (AA), aiming to evaluate the influence of the process variables (sucrose concentration, AA concentration and time) on vitamin C, water, sugars and total phenolic compound (TPC) contents by way of an analysis of the effects and the variance of the factors. The sucrose concentration did not affect the vitamin C content, but the AA concentration in the solution and the process time exerted a positive influence on this response. The addition of AA also presented a significant positive effect on the TPC contents because this vitamin interferes with the quantification of the TPC. On discounting the interferences, no losses of phenolic compounds were found. Impregnation with vitamin C during OD was shown to be effective in obtaining minimally processed mangoes with high nutritional value.

Practical Applications

Osmotic dehydration (OD) in sugar solutions can be applied to fresh-cut fruits as a treatment prior to drying or freezing, reducing water content and increasing sugar content, as well as impregnating some substances of interest, in such a way as to obtain the desired product. OD can be suitable for minimally processed fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, if applied in bland processing conditions, with the aim of extending the shelf life and enhancing the characteristics of the product. In the present work, impregnation with vitamin C during OD was shown to be effective in obtaining osmotically dehydrated mangoes with high nutritional value, without having to necessarily use high sugar solution concentration. It suggests that the process has a promising application to minimally processed mangoes in combination with other conservation methods such as refrigeration and modified atmospheres.