Airborne Ultrasonic Application on Hot Air-Drying of Pork Liver. Intensification of Moisture Transport and Impact on Protein Solubility

Nowadays, there is increasing interest in developing strategies for the efficient and sustainable use of animal by-products, such as pork liver. In order to stabilize the product, a prior dehydration stage may be required due to its high perishability. The water removal process of pork liver is energy costly and time consuming, which justifies its intensification using novel technologies. In this sense, the aim of this study was to assess the effect of the airborne application of power ultrasound on the hot air-drying of pork liver. For that purpose, drying experiments were carried out at 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 °C on pork liver cylinders at 2 m·s−1 with (US) and without ultrasonic application (AIR). The drying process was modeled from the diffusion theory and, in the dried pork liver, the protein solubility was analyzed in order to determine the effect of drying on the protein quality. The ultrasound application increased the drying rate, shortening the drying time by up to 40% at 30 °C. The effect of power ultrasound at high temperatures (60 and 70 °C) was of lesser magnitude. Drying at 70 °C involved a noticeable reduction in the protein solubility for dried liver, while the impact of ultrasound application on the solubility was not significant (p > 0.05) ​
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