Effect of sulphiting and drying methods on physico-chemical and sensorial quality of dried apricots during ambient storage

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Fresh mature and ripe apricots after preparations were pre-treated with potassium meta-bisulphite (KMS) at concentrations of 2–8% for 30, 45 and 60 min followed by drying in solar tunnel dryer and in open air. After completion of drying, the samples were packed in polyethylene pouches and evaluated for various quality parameters at 0, 6 and 12 months of ambient storage. KMS pre-treatment at concentration of 6% for 60 min prior to drying helped significantly in improving and maintaining the quality of dried apricots for up to 12 months of ambient storage. Solar tunnel drying resulted in hygienic product and reduced the drying time to 3–4 days compared with 14–16 days in open air drying. Residual free sulphur dioxide of apricots pre-treated at KMS concentration of 6% for 60 min was within the prescribed limits of the Fruit Product Order (1955) specifications for dried products.

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