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21/10/2012 (Added to site)
Author(s): Henry, J.; Christin, B.; Dietrich, K.

PEF enhanced drying of plant based products

Journal: Stewart Postharvest Review, 8/2 (2012), pp. 1-7
DOI: 10.2212/spr.2012.2.1
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Abstract:

Purpose of the review: This review points out main aspects related to the application of pulsed electric fields (PEF) as a pre-treatment to facilitate drying of plant based food products. Underlying mechanisms, impact on drying behavior as well as product quality-related aspects will be discussed.

Findings: PEF as a cell disintegration method has attained growing interest as a pre-treatment for drying of plant based food products. Available methods to study and quantify cell disintegration have been extended. The mechanisms of moisture transport and the impact of a PEF cell structure modification was studied by various authors. Valuable data were gained for the drying behavior of different PEF pre-treated raw materials mainly for hot air and osmotic drying. Higher drying rates and shortened drying times showed the potential to improve drying performance and reduce process time and energy. PEF treatment resulted in only limited impact on final product quality characteristics.

Directions for future research: Future research requires the detailed understanding of process-structure-function relationships namely the linkage between PEF induced structural changes on a cellular level, the resulting changes in tissue material properties, differences in the drying behavior and finally the impact of the aforementioned aspect on final product quality characteristics. Other drying technologies such as microwave assisted drying or freeze drying and the related effect of a PEF pre-treatment need to be investigated. Results will contribute to the further evaluation of the potential of PEF to improve drying process as well as to gain more information on interdependencies of heat and mass transfer phenomena during drying.



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