Submitted to: Food and Bioprocess Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/24/2008
Publication Date: 9/1/2009
Citation: Shi, J., Pan, Z., Mc Hugh, T.H., Hirschberg, E. 2009. Effect of Infusion Method and Parameters on Mass Transfer in Blueberries. Food and Bioprocess Technology. 2:271-278. Interpretive Summary: This research studied the factors affecting the sugar infusion rate of blueberries and provided methods for producing highly infused blueberries with minimum time.
Technical Abstract: In order to obtain essential knowledge about solid gain in blueberries during sugar infusion, we investigated the infusion characteristics of blueberries in hypotonic sugar solutions with various processing parameters. The parameters were solution temperature (25 to 70oC), concentration of osmotic solution (20 to 70oBrix), types of osmotic agent (fructose, dextrose, sucrose, maltodextrin, corn syrup). Two infusion methods, dynamic infusion and static infusion, were also studied. The investigated quality parameters were solid gain, water loss, soluble solid content, water content and water activity of the infused blueberries and concentration of osmotic solution. At osmotic solution and blueberry mass ratio of 1:1, time for the equilibrium of mass transfer between the fruits and the solution increased with the decrease of temperature and increase of solution concentration. High temperature and high solution concentration resulted in fast and high solid gain. The rate of water loss increased with an increase of solution temperature and concentration. 50oC was suggested as the upper limit for achieving high quality of infused product. Osmotic agents of small weight size showed high solid gain and significant decrease of water activity of infused product. Dynamic infusion speeded up the mass transfer and resulted in high solid gain in finished products at equilibrium.