Original Paper

European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 226, Issue 6, pp 1545-1552

Effect of sun-drying on microstructure and texture of S. Bartolomeu pears (Pyrus communis L.)

  • Dulcineia FerreiraAffiliated withDepartamento de Química, Universidade de AveiroEscola Agrária de Viseu, Instituto Politécnico, Quinta da Alagoa
  • , José A. Lopes da SilvaAffiliated withDepartamento de Química, Universidade de Aveiro
  • , Glória PintoAffiliated withCESAM, Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro
  • , Conceição SantosAffiliated withCESAM, Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro
  • , Ivonne DelgadilloAffiliated withDepartamento de Química, Universidade de Aveiro
  • , Manuel A. CoimbraAffiliated withDepartamento de Química, Universidade de Aveiro Email author 

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Abstract

Histological and mechanical studies were conducted to evaluate the changes that are conferred by a traditional sun-drying process on the texture and microstructure of a Portuguese pear cultivar (Pyrus communis L. var. S. Bartolomeu). Sun-drying processing of the pears results in loss of water, cell flattening and shrinkage, loss of cellular adhesion, and even loss of cell wall integrity. The sun-drying process significantly reduced the hardness and fracturability of the pear tissues, while increasing their cohesiveness, springiness and adhesiveness. The results obtained by texture and microstructure analysis of the fresh pear flesh reflect essentially an unified matrix comprising well-packed cells strongly bonded together whereas those of the sun-dried pear flesh pointed out a soft solid with many individual cells distributed in a soft matrix, explaining its softer and chewy texture.

Keywords

Pears Sun-drying Microstructure Scanning electron microscopy Texture profile analysis