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Mechanisms and Prevention of Plant Tissue Collapse during Dehydration: A Critical Review

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The appearance and functional properties are primordial in the quality assessment of semifinished fruit and vegetable products. These properties are often associated with shrunken, shriveled, darkened materials of poor rehydration ability after been subjected to air-drying — the most used drying method in the food industry. Fruits and vegetables are cellular tissues containing gas-filled pores that tend to collapse when subjected to dehydration. Collapse is an overall term that has different meanings and scale-settings in the literature depending on whether the author is a plant physiologist, a food technologist, a chemical engineer, or a material scientist. Some clarifications are given in this particular but wide field. The purpose of this work was to make a state-of-the-art contribution to the structural and textural effects of different types of dehydration on edible plant products and give a basis for preventing this phenomenon. The plant tissue is described, and the primordial role of the cell wall in keeping the structural integrity is emphasized. Water and its functionality at macro and micro levels of the cellular tissue are reviewed as well as its transport during dehydration. The effects of both dehydration and rehydration are described in detail, and the term “textural collapse” is proposed as an alternative to structural collapse. Referee: Prof. dr hab. Piotr P. Lewicki, Department of Food Engineering and Process Management, Warsaw Agricultural University, U1. Nowoursynowska 159c, 02-787 Warszawa, Poland
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Keywords: cellular structure; fruits and vegetables; pretreatments; shrinkage; water

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: SIK — The Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology, Environment and Process Engineering, PO Box 5401. SE-402 29 Göteborg, Sweden 2: Dept. of Food Engineering, Lund University, Box 124, S-22100 Lund, Sweden

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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