, Volume 6, Issue 7, pp 1644-1654
Date: 09 Feb 2012

Chemical Composition, Antioxidant Capacity, and Sensory Quality of Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) Arils and Rind as Affected by Drying Method

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the application of: (1) freeze drying, (2) convective drying (50, 60, or 70 °C), (3) vacuum–microwave drying (240, 360, or 480 W), and (4) a combined method of convective pre-drying and vacuum–microwave finish drying in the processing of pomegranate arils and rind. The quality parameters under study included sugars and organic acids, punicalagins and ellagic acid, total polyphenols, total antioxidant activity, and sensory quality. In general, drying led to a reduction in all studied parameters; however, the behavior of arils and rind was different. Vacuum–microwave drying at 240 or 360 W was the best drying treatment for arils, while rind required freeze drying or soft conditions of convective drying (50 °C). Further research is needed to obtain proper results with convective pre-drying and vacuum–microwave finish drying of arils and rind. With proper selection of the drying protocol, high-quality dried arils will be available for consumers; these arils will be characterized by high contents of fructose (25 g 100 g−1), phytic acid (2.2 g 100 g−1), punicalagins (0.57 mg g−1), total polyphenols (1.6 mg eq gallic acid g−1), high antioxidant capacity (0.6 mg eq Trolox g−1), and high intensities of garnet color, sweetness, sourness, and fresh pomegranate aroma. Besides, dried rind with very high contents of active compounds (123 mg g−1 of punicalagins and 108 mg eq gallic acid g−1) and high antioxidant capacity (26 mg eq Trolox g−1) will be also available as functional material.