Effect of drying under plastic tunnels on drying rate and quality of fig (Ficus carica L. 'Sarılop')
Commercial sun-drying is widely practiced in fig (Ficus carica L. 'Sarılop') production in western Turkey. The quality can be adversely affected by the climatic conditions due to dew formation and risk of early rains. The study aimed to test a plastic tunnel developed as a model for fig drying and compare with open air conditions. Fruit partially dried on the tree were collected and further dried on trays placed in open-air or under tunnels. The trial was performed twice in August (Trial 1: early season) and in September (Trial 2: as late season). The temperature and relative humidity were monitored in both environments. The samples were taken at 0, 24, 48, 72, 96 and 120 h after placed on drying trays to analyze moisture content (%), water activity (aw) and physical and chemical quality parameters. The drying was terminated when moisture content was ≤22 and/or water activity ≤0.65. In Trial 1, the fruit moisture content and aw levels achieved after 72 h under the plastic tunnel were 22.3% and 0.63, respectively. However, these values were obtained after 96 h in open air. In Trial 2, similar levels were reached after 96 and 120 h under plastic tunnel and open air, respectively. The plastic tunnels shortened the drying period for 24 h in the early and late season.
Oksar, R.E., Şen, F. and Aksoy, U. 2017. Effect of drying under plastic tunnels on drying rate and quality of fig (Ficus carica L. 'Sarılop'). Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1173:297-302
dried fig, drying kinetics, moisture content, water activity, color