Effect of osmotic drying on physicochemical properties of pansies (viola × wittrockiana)

Luana Fernandes, Susana Casal, Agostinho Magalhães, Paula Baptista, José A. Pereira, Jorge A. Saraiva, Elsa Ramalhosa


The objective of this work was to study the effect of osmotic drying, using different hypertonic solutions (sucrose and sodium chloride), on physicochemical characteristics of pansies (Viola × wittrockiana). The same treatments were applied to lettuce to compare the behavior of flowers with other vegetables. Pansies' superhydrophobic surface structure, called papillae, increased the resistance to exchanges with hypertonic solutions. No weight loss was observed after most treatments (sucrose: between 2.2 and 6.8 %; NaCl: between -23.0 % and 1.5 %), aw maintained high values (>0.94) and monomeric anthocyanins were preserved (fresh 0.10 and 0.19 mg Cy-3glu/g fresh matter for 20%/1 h in NaCl and 60%/1 h in sucrose). When applying more drastic conditions, as sodium chloride for more than 1 hour, undesirable textural and color changes were observed. For lettuce, all treatments caused osmotic dehydration, weight loss (ranged between -9.3 to -30.3 % for 80%/1 h in sucrose and 15%/1 h in NaCl) and a reduction on a(<0.97) and carotenoids, with sodium chloride causing more damage in visual appearance than sucrose. Therefore, immersion in osmotic solutions can be applied to lettuce but the desired effect was not achieved for pansies due to the morphological structure of the flowers' epidermis.


viola×wittrockiana; lettuce; osmotic dehydration; carotenoids; monomeric anthocyanins

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