TAILIEUCHUNG - Standardization of drying techniques to develop ready to cook banana inflorescence

Banana inflorescence is consumed as a vegetable in many Asian countries, is also an excellent source of various minerals such as magnesium, copper and iron. However using it as a vegetable sometimes becomes very demanding as it is very difficult to remove the bracts and extract out the flowers for cooking. So it becomes very important to use some technology to develop ready to cook banana inflorescence which can be preserved for a long period. Dehydration can successfully used to safeguard a commodity as it reduces the bulk volume by lowering the moisture content and also diminishes fungal attack. But in case of dehydration of banana inflorescence the problem of enzymatic browning due to the activity of polyphenol oxidase (PPO) is very pervasive. Therefore the study was aimed to develop suitable dehydration process of banana inflorescence which would yield attractive dehydrated product with long shelf life. Banana inflorescences were subjected to various pretreatments followed by which dehydration was carried at three different temperatures of 500C, 550C and 600C. Thereafter the dehydrated products were packed in LDPE 50 micron pouches and stored in ambient condition. Observation for different physical and biochemical attributes were taken at 0, 30, 60 and 90 days of storage. The study revealed that banana inflorescence pretreated with initially dipping at citric acid followed by hot water blanching for 4 minutes and final dipping at % sodium metabisulphite with dehydration done at a temperature of 500C was the most promising, maintaining significant observable attributes throughout the study. | Standardization of drying techniques to develop ready to cook banana inflorescence