The objective was to study the effect of alginate coating on polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity and colour of ‘Starking’ apple cubes during dehydration with hot air. Apple cubes were dehydrated at 20oC, 35oC, or 40oC, with a parallel airflow. Analysis of PPO activity, colour (L*, a*, b*) and dry matter were performed along the dehydration process at each temperature. All samples presented a peak in relative PPO activity in the beginning of the drying. Exponential models fitted well the experimental data after the peak. Cubes without coating presented lower PPO activity, suggesting lower browning, than coated samples throughout the dehydration process, for all temperatures. Better results for coated samples were obtained with a perpendicular airflow drying at 40oC, after dipping the whole apple in water at 60oC for 10 min. In order to prevent coated samples from browning, drying by perpendicular airflow preceded by a thermal treatment of the whole apple is required.
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