Modeling and optimization of the dehydration of beets for use as a value-added food ingredient
Varner, Audrey Sandra
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Crushed beetroot was dried into powders with different dehydration methods. Powders were evaluated for betalain content and physical properties such as flowability, bulk density, hygroscopicity, and particle size. Modeling of drying with a vacuum belt drier was done to understand the dehydration mechanism. Powder making conditions such as maltodextrin level and drying temperature were optimized with a vacuum belt drier. Powders dehydrated with a vacuum belt dryer at 95°C were found to have the highest drying rate without betalain degradation or unfavorable physical properties. Vacuum belt dried powder was then compared against conventional spray-dried beet powder and golden standard freeze-dried powder, as well as tray-dried and drum-dried powders. Vacuum belt dried powder was found to have comparable betalain content to the freeze dried powder without any unfavorable physical properties. Use of a vacuum belt dryer is effective in creating a quality beet powder for use as a value-added food ingredient.