Optical and thermal properties of edible coatings for application in solar drying

A. López-Ortiz, I. Y. Pacheco Pineda, L. L. Méndez-Lagunas, A. Balbuena Ortega, Laura Guerrero Martínez, J. P. Pérez-Orozco, J. A. del Río, P. K. Nair

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1 Scopus citations


Solar drying is a sustainable process that may impact the quality of dried food. This is because, pigments contained in food are sensitive to sunlight, and exposure to ultraviolet radiation can affect them. We applied biopolymer-based coatings on strawberry, from hydro-colloidal solutions of Opuntia ficus indica-mucilage, fenugreek, xanthan gum, gum Arabic, and guar gum to evaluate their potential use as UV filters for solar drying of food. Thermal properties and the optical transmittance, absorbance and reflectance of the coatings were measured to assess their influence on food-sunlight interaction. During the drying experiments, the moisture content, total anthocyanins (TA), and total phenolic compounds (TPC) were measured. Optical and thermal properties are influenced by the biopolymer-based coatings. Also, the optical properties are influenced by the coating thickness. The differences in optical and thermal properties influence the drying process. Differences exist in the drying rate for strawberry slices with coating, compared with those without the coatings. In general, the TA and TPC content in the product are better preserved under solar drying than in control experiments done in a drying oven. A partial transmittance of solar UV radiation is recommended to obtain increased TA and TPC contents in the dried product.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10051
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


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