Aims: The objective of this study was to investigate the impacts of combined microwave- convective drying on the quality of dried-pears. Color, bioactive compounds (total phenolics (TP) and antioxidant capacity (AC)) and textural (hardness) properties of convective (50 and 60 °C), microwave (100 and 200 W), and combined microwave-convective (100-50 °C, 200W-50 °C, 100 W-60 °C and 200 W-60 °C) dried pears were compared with the untreated pears.
Results and Methods: A Konica Minolta CR-400 Chroma Meter was used to examine the color changes in dried pears. TP was measured using the Folin-Ciocalteu reagent. The free radical scavenging activity of the extract was analyzed using 1,1-dipheyl-2-picylhydrazyl (DPPH). The hardness of dried pear slices with different drying methods was obtained by a texture analyzer. The microwave- convective dried pear slices (especially at the condition of 200 W - 60 °C) showed higher preservation of bioactive compounds in addition to improved textural properties and color compared to other dried pear samples.
Conclusion: Overall, combined microwave-convective drying is a promising process, as demonstrated in current research by its capability to better retain dried pear quality in terms of functional and textural properties.