Miriam Dupas Hubinger 1*

ABSTRACT. The effect of calcium lactate addition on osmotic dehydration of guavas with sucrose solutions was studied, aiming at the structural preservation of processed fruits. Guava texture and structure were evaluated and the differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to verify the interaction of calcium ions and cell wall pectin of guava tissue. Calcium lactate addition promoted the maintenance of guava structure and resulted in an increase of guavas hardness and resistance to deformation, indicating the Ca+2 and cell wall pectin linkage, which was assured by DSC experiments. Key words: osmotic dehydration, microscopy, calorimetric measurements INTRODUCTION Fruits and vegetables with good nutritional and sensorial quality and longer shelf life can be obtained by osmotic dehydration process. However, structural changes, mainly in product texture, are frequently observed as a result of osmotic treatment [1-3]. The use of calcium salts on osmotic solution has showed being interesting to preserve processed tissues structure. The calcium action on cellular structure can be explained by its effect on pectin matrix present in cell wall of plant tissues. The interaction of Ca2+ and pectin provide rigidity to cell wall, favoring the maintenance of product texture [4]. The objective of this work was to verify the effect of calcium lactate on osmotic dehydration process aiming at structural preservation of guavas, which was evaluated through microscopic and calorimetric methodologies and texture assays.

Department of Food Engineering, Faculty of Food Engineering, State University of Campinas, P.O. Box 6121, CEP 13083-862, Campinas, SP, Brazil. mhub@fea.unicamp.br*. 2 Department of Botany, Biology Institute, State University of Campinas, Brazil. 1

Brazil) at 120 rpm and 40 ºC for 2 hours. Tecnal. using a mass ratio of fruit to solution of 1:10.55% (w/v) (3% active chlorine). Piracicaba. shape and size. the samples were rinsed with the chlorinated sanitizer solution at 0. Guava halves were soaked in a 60ºBrix sucrose solution with or without addition of 1. American Optical Corporation.Jung. sanitized with a chlorinated sanitizer (Diversey Lever. São Paulo. Osmotic Dehydration The guavas were washed with tap water. Brazil) at 0. Samples sections of 8µm were stained with Toluidine Blue O in acetate buffer (pH 4. New York. After this process. washed with tap water and dipped again in the same sanitizer. Heidelberger. The solutions with the samples were placed in a thermostatic shaker (TE 420. The dehydrated samples were embedded in hydroxyethyl methacrylate historesin (Leica Microsystems .5% of calcium lactate. The guavas were then cut into halves and had the seeds removed. 2 ..MATERIALS AND METHODS Materials Red guavas (Psidium guajava L) of the Paluma cultivar supplied by Val Fruits Industry (Vista Alegre do Alto. Brazil) were selected in order to obtain uniform fruits according to its ripening grade (7-8 ºBrix and 80% of skin yellowness). Light Microscopy Samples (~ 5mm x 3mm x 3mm) from the flesh tissue of guavas were fixed in 4% glutaraldehyde in phosphate buffer (pH 7.20% (w/v) and placed on absorbent paper to remove excess solution. Germany) and sectioned using a rotatory microtome (820 Spencer Microtome. Tokyo. chemically peeled (diluted NaOH solution at 2% (w/v)).0) with 4% added sucrose and dehydrated in a graded ethanol series. USA).7) and examined in an Olympus BX 51 light microscope (Olympus Optical CO. Japan).

Osmotic dehydration in sucrose solution caused an intense damage on guava cellular structure. The melting temperature (Tm) of pectin cell wall was considered as the temperature correspondent to the DSC endothermic peak [7]. New Castle. extracted according to Mitcham and McDonald [6]. in conventional mode. The force and height data obtained from this test were converted to Hencky stress (σH ) and strain (ε H ) . USA) fitted with a refrigerated cooling system (RCS).Texture evaluation The guavas texture was analyzed by uniaxial compression tests using a Universal Testing Machine (TA. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The guava cellular structure was strongly influenced by osmotic process and calcium addition (Figure 1).XT2i Texture Analyzer. Temperature and enthalpy calibrations were carried out using indium. Dry helium at a flow rate of 25 ml/min was used as purge gas and dry nitrogen (150 ml/min) was used through the RCS unit. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) Calorimetric study was done using a TMDSC 2920 (TA Instruments. England). through the determination of melting temperature of guavas cell wall pectin. Stable Micro Systems. The stress and strain at failure were determined using a 30 mm diameter lubricated acrylic plate at a crosshead speed of 1 mm s-1 until 70% sample deformation. Surrey. Tissue of fresh guava showed turgid cells with a consistent cell wall structure (Figure 1A). A 20 mm diameter cylindrical sample collected from the center of guava halves was used for these assays. were sealed in hermetic aluminum pans and heated at 10ºC/min from 25 to 220ºC. showing a severe cellular plasmolysis (black arrows) and cell collapse (white arrows) 3 . to verify the calcium crosslinking to cell walls. Guava cell wall samples (around 8mg). The stress and strain at failure were determined from the peak of the stress-strain curve [5].

0 0. A melting peak displacement was observed when the guava was treated with calcium lactate. FIGURE 1. Osmotically dehydrated guavas in sucrose solution showed greater stress and strain at failure values than the fresh guava and this behavior was enhanced by calcium addition (Figure 2).0 3.0 7. The firming effect provided by calcium salts can be explained by the linkage of calcium ions with cell wall and middle lamella pectin. resulting in an increase of guavas hardness and resistance to deformation in relation to fresh fruit.0 4.(Figure 1B).0 1. showing turgid cells with a thick cell wall and a well-defined cellular contour as observed for fresh guava (Figure 1C). 8. 4 .5% CaLAC FIGURE 2. This cellular crosslinking can be also verified by the thermograms obtained in DSC trials (Figure 3). However.0 SUC 60ºBrix SUC 60 + 1.0 Normalized Stress and Strain at Failure (Pa/Pa) Stress Strain 6.0 2. Stress and strain at failure of osmotically dehydrated guavas. promoting the structural preservation of fruits. suggesting the linkage of calcium ions with the pectin matrix of plant tissues.0 5. Scale bar: 70mm. Micrographs of fresh (A) and osmotically dehydrated guavas in sucrose solution without calcium addition (B) and with calcium addition (C). calcium lactate addition on osmotic solution promoted structural preservation of treated guavas.

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