Chapter 6 Auxiliary raw materials
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Auxiliary raw materials used in fruit and vegetable processing technologies play a major role in the determination of their physical and chemical characteristics, sensory properties and nutritive value.
Water is one of the essential factors in the activity of the processing centres; according to the final utilisation, water can be classified in three categories:
6.1.1 Water for technological uses
Water coming into direct contact with the raw materials used for processing (washing, blanching, etc.) or that used as filling liquid of some canned products, must be of drinking water quality in terms of its physico-chemical and microbiological conditions.
More important even than fulfilling drinking water standards, water used for these purposes pests certain specific characteristics related to the technological step or the raw material treated during the processing.
When very hard water is used for blanching vegetables some pecto-calcium and pectomagnesium complexes are formed which starts the hardening of vegetable tissues. This process continues over the pasteurization of the finished product.
When fruit is processed in sugar syrup, the use of hard water for the syrup preparation could induce the formation of a pectin-sugar-acid gel facilitated by the medium pH and presence of calcium salts.
Soft water has negative consequences associated with mineral and hydrosoluble substances and losses during blanching of vegetables.
For some specific products such as peeled tomatoes, green beans and fine texture fruit, the addition of calcium salts (chlorure, sulphate, etc.) is employed to correct for low texture.
The water hardness is an essential factor when used as filling liquid for canned products; ideally, the hardness of the water should be adapted to the raw material species used for canning.
Thus a hardness of 3° is good for beans, 5° to 9° for green peas, green beans, and for fruit and vegetables with a tendency to disintegrate should use even harder water.
In the technological process of cucumber and gherkin preservation by natural acidification (lactic fermentation), water hardness has a paramount role. The literature maintains that as far as texture is concerned, the best results are obtained by using very hard water (about 30°); but since high magnesium and salt content has a negative effect on taste, in practice it is recommended that a water hardness of about 10° be used, which gives satisfactory results from both points of view.
Oxygen present in water can act as a corrosion factor in metal receptacles but this negative influence can be eliminated by preliminary boiling.
An important factor is pH. Water for canning must be neutral or slightly basic. Acid water plays a major role in corrosion which is evident both on receptacles and on iron or copper equipment, where changes of product colour will be induced. More dangerous is the attack on lead pipes or to the mix used for can sticking and this can render the product toxic. For these reasons an acid water must be neutralised before use.
6.1.2 Water for steam generators.
Two main conditions must be fulfilled:
The elimination of iron-bacteria is also of importance for the water used in processing steps.
6.1.3 Water for receptacle cooling and general hygiene.
This should be of drinking water standard.
Where this is not available in sufficient quantity, the use of industrial water is acceptable but only for cleaning of production rooms/workshops.
Sugar is the conventional name applied to sucrose. Physically there is icing, granulated and lump sugar. In fruit and vegetable processing, sugar is used only in its granulated form; this quality must be in the form of uniform crystals, white, shining and completely soluble in water.
Concentration of various sugar solutions can be rapidly measured by refractometer reading or with areometers graduated in various ways: Brix, Baumé, etc. The correspondence between these measuring units and quantity of water by volume unit is indicated in Table 6.2.1.
Sugar solubility in water is dependent upon temperature; for example, in order to obtain a saturated solution, one must dissolve 2040 g in one litre of water at 20° C and 4870 g at 100° C. Taking into account this temperature related solubility, in practice the majority of sugar solutions are prepared by heating the water. Water should be as soft as possible because the calcium salts can precipitate on boiling.
6.2.2 Corn syrup (liquid glucose)
Corn syrup is obtained industrially by acid or enzymatic starch hydrolysis, using as starting raw materials maize (corn) or potatoes. In fruit processing, mainly in the production of marmalades, it is possible to use corn syrup. The average composition of this corn syrup is of about 32-40% dextrose (glucose), about 40% dextrins and 18-20% moisture. Sweetening power is 50% compared with sucrose.
In a 10%-20% proportion with sucrose, addition of corn syrup has certain advantages:
Salt is used in order to give to the finished products a specifically salty taste and as a preserving substance. From a chemical point of view the term salt means sodium chloride but in practice the product is never in a pure state. The presence of a significant quantity of magnesium chloride increases the hygroscopicity, gives a bitter taste and can induce corrosion of receptacles.
TABLE 6.2.1 Physical characteristics of sugar solutions
|Specific weight||deg.Bé||Sugar in solution||Boiling temperature °C|
|deg.Bx (K/100 g)||g/l|
From a microbiological point of view, salt it is not a sterile product but on the contrary contains various micro-organisms, mainly halophil bacteria.
Salt solubility is only slightly influenced by temperature (0.360 kg/1 at 20° C and 0.390 kg/l at 100° C). Correspondence between specific weight and salt content of salt solutions at 15° C is shown in Table 6.2.2.
TABLE 6.2.2 Physical characteristics of salt solutions
|deg.Bé||Specific weight||NaCl content|
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