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J Sci Food Agric. 2013 Jun;93(8):1887-97. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.5985. Epub 2012 Dec 12.

Quality factors, antioxidant activity, and sensory properties of jet-tube dried rabbiteye blueberries.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.



Rabbiteye blueberries are an excellent source of nutrients and phytochemicals. They are often dried, which can degrade health-promoting compounds. Means of shortening exposure to high-temperature drying air are desirable. Five cultivars of rabbiteye blueberries ('Premier', 'Tifblue', 'Brightwell', 'Alapaha', and 'Powderblue') were dried in a jet-tube fluidized bed air dryer with varying pretreatments including mechanical abrasion and osmotic dehydration.


Drying time ranged from 66 to 95 min at 107 °C, achieving a final water activity of 0.347-0.605. Prior osmotic dehydration significantly reduced the drying time. Vacuum osmotic dehydration for 70 min achieved similar moisture contents to soaking blueberries for 24 h. Jet-tube dried blueberries exhibited greater color saturation than commercially available blueberries. While drying reduced the total monomeric anthocyanin (TMA) content, this occurred to a lesser extent than by other processing methods. The total phenolics content (TPC) and antioxidant capacity (H-ORACFL values) increased after drying. 'Premier' was the most preferred vacuum-infused dried blueberry, with a water activity (aw) of 0.53 and 157 g H2O kg(-1). 'Tifblue' was most preferred amongst the overnight-infused and also unsweetened dried blueberries.


Jet-tube drying can substantially reduce drying times while yielding blueberries with good color, sensory properties, TMA, TPC, and H-ORACFL values. Furthermore, some cultivars produce better-quality dried blueberries than others.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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