Freeze-dried fruit and vegetables useful for agrifood purposes
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DepartmentIngeniería de los Alimentos y del Equipamiento Agrícola
Knowledge AreaTecnología de los Alimentos
Lyophilized (freeze-dried) products are food with a long shelf life under storage temperatures above the regular used for food freezing. The manufacture of lyophilized products requires knowledge about the optimum conditions of processing in each vegetable including the right format for any of them. Usually, liophylization, a non-thermal treatment, preserves most of the nutrients and aroma compounds from the original vegetable, particularly when compared with other treatments. The product must to be freezing at around -30oC at the beginning in the same equipment or in other freezer. After that, ice is sublimed in a refrigerated chamber under vacuum and applying a little heat in order to favor water vapor release from the food matrix and then eliminating vapor by condensation at -60oC. Vacuum is a critical step of the process in order to avoid melting ice.
Liophylization (freeze-drying) consist in freezing food below -30oC and later removing the ice formed by sublimation in a chamber with controlled temperature under vacuum, and the water vapor produced being removed by condensation at temperatures around -60oC. Different lyophilized products derived from vegetables have been developed that can be used to improved existing foods, to create new ones, or to extract compounds of interest in a food matrix almost free from water. The know-how on liophylization and the problems during the process have been acquired by using pilot equipment. The optimization of the process can be also addressed by calculating the curves of weight loss during drying and the electrical consumption. Quality and safety parameters in fresh and lyophilized product can be also determined compared with the fresh produce. Our main product are freeze-dried samples obtained from a near isogenic line collection of melon derived by classical plant breeding from the ´Piel de ...
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