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Evolution of Carotenoids, Sensory Profiles and Volatile Compounds in Microwave-Dried Fruits of Three Different Loquat Cultivars (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.)

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The consumption of loquat fruits is highly appreciated for their carotenoid content and valuable sensory notes, but it is limited due to the low shelf-life. An on-line temperature controlled microwave system based on infrared thermography was used to dry three different loquat cultivar at 60 °C. The time to reach the target value of 23% moisture content was about 105 min in Claudia fruits and 162 min in Virticchiara and Peluche. Seven carotenoids were identified in loquat fruits, among these the major were all-trans-β-carotene in Virticchiara and Claudia. Virticchiara had the major total carotenoid content (206 μg/g dry basis), followed by Peluche (158 μg/g d.b.) and Claudia (41 μg/g d.b.). The loss of carotenoids after drying ranged between 24% (Peluche) and 41% (Claudia). Carotenoids that showed a higher loss were on average: lutein (70%) and zeaxhantin (51%). Thirty-five volatile compounds were identified in fresh and dried loquats: the aldehydes were the most abundant class. After drying, aldehydes declined slightly, with alcohols falling more sharply. The shortened times by using temperature-controlled microwave heating with infrared thermography have guaranteed a fair quality of the dried loquats from the nutritional and sensory point of view, variable among the three cultivars.

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Correspondence to Luciano Cinquanta.

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Farina, V., Cinquanta, L., Vella, F. et al. Evolution of Carotenoids, Sensory Profiles and Volatile Compounds in Microwave-Dried Fruits of Three Different Loquat Cultivars (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.). Plant Foods Hum Nutr (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11130-020-00801-7

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  • Eriobotrya japonica
  • Carotenoids
  • Drying
  • Microwave
  • Volatile compounds