Cauliflower heads, which were precooled using four different methods including vacuum, forced-air, and high and low flow hydro precooling, were stored under controlled atmosphere and room conditions. Controlled atmosphere conditions (CA) were as follows: 1°C temperature, 90 ± 5% relative humidity, and 0:21 [(%CO2:%O2) – (0:21) control] atmosphere composition. Room conditions (RC) were: 22±1°C temperature and 55-60% humidity. Various quality parameters of the cauliflower heads were assessed during storage (days 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35) under controlled atmosphere and room conditions (days 0, 5, and 10). During storage, weight loss, deterioration rate, overall sensory quality score, hardness, and colour (L, a, b, C and α) were evaluated. In the present study, the strength and quality parameters of cauliflower under CA and RC conditions were obtained. Vacuum precooling was found to be most suitable method before cauliflower was submitted to cold storage and sent to market. Furthermore, the storage of cauliflower without precooling resulted in a significant decrease in quality parameters.
The aim of the present study was to precool cauliflower using forced-air, vacuum and high and low flow hydro cooling methods. The weight of the precooled cauliflower heads (5000±5 g) was measured before they were placed in standard plastic crates. Cauliflower heads, whose initial temperature was 23.5 ± 0.5 ºC, were cooled until the temperature reached at 1 ºC. During the precooling process, time-dependent temperature and energy consumption were measured, and during vacuum precooling, the decreasing pressure values were recorded, and a curve of time-dependent pressure decrease (vacuum) was built. The most suitable cooling method to precool cauliflower in terms of cooling time and energy consumption was vacuum, followed by the high and low flow hydro and forced-air precooling methods, respectively. The highest weight loss was observed in the vacuum precooling method, followed by the forced-air method. However, there was an increase in the weight of the cauliflower heads in the high and low flow hydro precooling method. The best colour and hardness values were found in the vacuum precooling method. Among all methods tested, the most suitable method to precool cauliflower in terms of cooling and quality parameters was the vacuum precooling method.
Celery (Apium graveolens L. var. secalinum Alef) leaves with 50±0.07 g weight and 91.75±0.15% humidity (~11.21 db) were dried using 8 different microwave power densities ranging between 1.8-20 W g-1, until the humidity fell down to 8.95±0.23% (~0.1 db). Microwave drying processes were completed between 5.5 and 77 min depending on the microwave power densities. In this study, measured values were compared with predicted values obtained from twenty thin layer drying theoretical, semi-empirical and empirical equations with a new thin layer drying equation. Within applied microwave power density; models whose coefficient and correlation (R²) values are highest were chosen as the best models. Weibull distribution model gave the most suitable predictions at all power density. At increasing microwave power densities, the effective moisture diffusivity values ranged from 1.595 10-10 to 6.377 10-12 m2 s-1. The activation energy was calculated using an exponential expression based on Arrhenius equation. The linear relationship between the drying rate constant and effective moisture diffusivity gave the best fit.
Mallow leaves (Malva sylvestris L.) with initial moisture of 5.02±0.003 on dry basis (82.5% on wet basis) were dried using three different drying methods, microwave, convective and vacuum. The leaves that weigh 75 g each were dried until their moisture fell down to 0.10±0.005 on dry basis (approximately 9% on wet basis). The following drying levels were used in each of the drying processes: 6.67, 8.67, 10, 11.33 W g-1 microwave power density; 50, 75, 100 and 125 °C for convective drying; and 3, 7 kPa at 50 and 75 °C for vacuum drying. Drying periods ranged from 6-10, 26-150 and 38-130 min. for microwave, convective and vacuum drying, respectively. Effective moisture diffisuvities ranged from 2.04403 10-10-3.63996 10-12 m2 s-1, 1.70182 10-11-1.10084 10-10 m2 s-1 and 1.85599 10-11-5.94559 10-10 m2 s-1 for microwave, convective and vacuum drying, respectively. According to ascorbic acid content and color parameters, the best microwave power density was found 10 W g-1 with a drying period of 6.5 min.