Reference : Contribution to pomegranate seeds conservation (Punica granatum L.) by osmotic dehydration
Dissertations and theses : Doctoral thesis
Life sciences : Agriculture & agronomy
Contribution to pomegranate seeds conservation (Punica granatum L.) by osmotic dehydration
[fr] Contribution à l’étude de la conservation des graines de grenade (Punica granatum L.) par déshydratation osmotique
Bchir, Brahim [Université de Liège - ULg > > > Doct. sc. agro. & ingé. biol.]
Université de Liège, ​Liège, ​​Belgique
Docteur en Sciences agronomiques et Ingénierie biologique
Blecker, Christophe mailto
Sindic, Marianne mailto
Danthine, Sabine mailto
Bera, François mailto
Lognay, Georges mailto
Paquot, Michel mailto
Delvigne, Frank mailto
Haut, Benoît
Attia, Hamadi
[en] Pomegranate ; Osmotic dehydration ; Freezing ; Drying ; Texture ; Structure ; Differential scanning calorimetry analysis ; Water loss ; Antioxidant activity ; Phenolic compound
[en] The aim of this work was to create a complete conservation process of pomegranate seeds (Punica granatum L.). This process is essentially based on osmotic dehydration (OD), which was associated to freezing and air-drying process. Several parameters were studied to optimize the process such as osmotic solution (sucrose, glucose, and sucrose/glucose and date juice with sucrose added), temperature (30, 40, and 50°C) and state of the fruit (fresh and frozen). All these conditions were linked to seed proprieties (texture, structure, and colour).
The study of osmotic dehydration parameters (water loss (WL), solids gain (SG) and weight reduction (WR)) showed that most significant changes of mass transfer took place during the first 20 min of dewatering using frozen seeds, independently of temperature and sugar type. During this period, seeds water loss was estimated at 46% in sucrose, 41% in sucrose/glucose mix, 39% in date juice, and 37% in glucose. Mass transfer was slower starting from fresh fruit but led to a higher rate of WL at the end of the process. This fact can be explained by scanning electron microscopy, which showed damage of seed cell structure after freezing. This has practical consequences in terms of the modification of seeds texture. The same process also revealed a modification of seed texture and cell structure after osmotic dehydration. Using a sucrose solution and a temperature of 50°C favoured the best mass transfer.
The determination of different water fractions of seed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) showed that the % of frozen water decreased 3.5 times contrary the % of unfreezable water that increased 2.5 times. This favours a better seeds conservation. During osmotic dehydration, there was a non negligible leaching of natural solutes from seeds into the solution, which might have an important impact on the sensorial and nutritional value of seeds.
Using only osmotic dehydration could not maintain the stability of seeds during conservation. In fact, after the osmotic process, water activity of seeds was found to be higher than 0.9, allowing to the development of microorganisms and some undesirable reactions. As a consequence, a drying of the pomegranate seeds (during four hours) was investigated at three different temperatures (40, 50, and 60 °C) with air flow rate of 2 ms-1. Prior to the drying process, seeds were osmodehydrated in a sucrose solution (55°Brix) during 20 min at 50°C. The drying kinetics and the effects of OD and air-drying temperature on antioxidant capacity, total phenolic, colour, and texture were determined.

This work is a contribution to the study of physico-chemical properties of pomegranate seeds (Punica granatum L.) during freezing, osmotic dehydration and drying. After the global process, the pomegranate seed characteristics lead to new industrial developments.

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