Orientador: Prof. Dr. Edmar Clemente

Data da Defesa: 28/02/2012



 INTRODUCTION. In Brazil, North and Northeast regions are known for a great diversity of native and exotic tropical fruit species, having good agroindustrial usage perspectives, which are poorly explored so far. Red mombin (Spondias purpurea L.),  also known as jocote, purple mombin, hog plum, ciriguela and seriguela, is one of the most cultivated species Spondias and the species that produces better quality fruits. The fruit has not been properly characterized yet, especially when it comes to its potential for industrialization. However, the high perishability of red mombin fruits requires the  use of technology that aims to increase their lifetime and reduce losses after harvest. Drying by atomization or spray-dryer is one of the most used techniques for dehydration. It changes the fruit pulp into powder, providing higher stability and longer  lifetime to the product, allowing storage for a longer time and commercialization in any region of the country, in any season of the year. OBJECTIVES. The aims of the current work were the drying of red mombin pulp by  atomization or spray-dryer, the study of powder stability, stored in two different  wrappings, and the evaluation of physical, chemical and hygroscopicity.
METHODOLOGY. Red mombin pulp powder was obtained by drying solution containing 90% of frozen integral pulp and 10% of maltodextrina (DE = 20) in a spraydryer device, which had an asperser with a 1.2mm diameter, a 3.0L.min-1 air escape and a 100-psi atomization pressure. The drying temperatures were 120ºC (inlet) and 80ºC  (outlet) at a 240 mL/h flow rate. The powder samples were kept in polyethylene and laminated wrappings, containing approximately 30 g of powder each, sealed and stored  at 25ºC ± 2ºC and 85% ± 5 of RH (relative humidity). The samples were analyzed in the beginning and after every 15 days, for 120 days. The following analyses were carried  out: ascorbic acid, carotenoids, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, pH, total and reducing sugars, color parameters, humidity, water activity (aw), density, hygroscopicity and caking degree (agglutination). The product isothermal adsorption was also carried out and four mathematical models were used to adjust the results: GAB, BET, Henderson and Oswin.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION. Red mombin powder obtained in the drying process showed low humidity and water activity, which are considered excellent attributes for products in a powder form. It also showed proper quantities of vitamin C, carotenoids, phenolic compounds, flavonoids and pH values, total soluble solids, reducing sugars, total sugars and density, within the parameters for fruit pulps. The powder showed high hygroscopicity, in relation to the high quantity of sugar in the fruits and, consequently, a  higher caking degree during storage. Regarding the red mombin powder adsorption isothermals, the obtained data were better adjusted to Oswin’s models, since they had the highest (R) values and the lowest values for relative error in this model.
CONCLUSION. Red mombin pulp powder showed an adequate physicochemical constitution. The powder physical composition adjusted to the parameters of other fruits in powder, found in literature. Because it is a fruit with high sugar concentration, it  showed a high hygroscopicity and caking degree. Regarding both studied wrappings, plastic and laminated, the latter preserved the physical and physicochemical characteristics more efficiently, during stability. The results obtained for isothermal sorption were better adjusted to Oswin’s model


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