The aim of present study was to optimize the osmo-dehydration process condition of strawberries coated with Arabic gum. The dependent variables were osmotic agent concentration (40% to 60% w/w), immersion time (12-48 h), coating concentration (0% to 2% w/w) and storage duration (0-4 months). The experiments were designed according to central composite design and osmo-air dehydrated strawberries were evaluated for density, water content, colorimetric parameters, total anthocyanin content and antioxidant activity. It was found that Arabic gum effectively contributed in retention of colour and nutrient content while it showed significantly negative effect on water content (p<0.05). Elongation of process duration and storage time led to major losses (p<0.01) of product quality. Response surface methodology (RSM) revealed that osmo-dehydration of strawberries coated with 1.3% Arabic gum in sucrose solution of 50.64% w/w concentration for 12 h would give best performance in term of nutrient content and colour retention as well as product humidity and density over 67 days of storage time.
Roshanak Rezaei, Mirkhalil Pirouzifard and Mohammad Alizadeh Khaled-Abad