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Assessment of Drying Characteristics and Texture in Relation with Micromorphological Traits of Carob (Ceratonia silliqua L.) Pods and Seeds

 

Maja Benković1, Siniša Srečec2, Ingrid Bauman1*, Damir Ježek1, Sven Karlović1, Dario Kremer3, Ksenija Karlović4 and Renata Erhatić2
 

1University of Zagreb, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, Pierottijeva 6, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
2Križevci College of Agriculture, M. Demerca 1, HR-48260 Križevci, Croatia
3University of Zagreb, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Schrottova 39, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
4University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, Svetošimunska 25, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia




Article history:
Received    October 14, 2015
Accepted   May 13, 2016


Key words:
carob, drying, texture, micromorphology


Summary:
Carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua L.) is a perennial leguminous evergreen tree native to the coastal regions of the Mediterranean basin and is considered to be an important component of vegetation for economic and environmental reasons. Two constituents of the pod, pulp and seeds, can be used as feed or in food production. In this study, drying characteristics, texture and microstructure of carob pods were studied. Three different carob samples were prepared: whole carob pod, carob pod parts and carob seed. The drying experiments and the modelling showed that carob seeds had the highest drying rate, followed by pod parts and the whole, intact carob fruit. Texture studies showed that the maximum compression force depended on the area of the carob fruit on which compression tests were performed. The seeds showed the highest compression force, followed by the stem zone, the tip and the centre of the fruit. Differences in drying behaviour and texture of carob pods can successfully be interpreted by the micromorphology of the carob pods and seeds. Determining the drying rate, maximum compressive force and micromorphological traits is of great importance for further carob processing (e.g. milling, sieving, carob bean gum production or usage in food or feed products).


 


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