Indexed on: 09 Jul '08Published on: 09 Jul '08Published in: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Concentrating tomato juice to paste during the tomato season allows for preservation and long-term storage, but subsequent dilution for formulation of value-added products is known to result in a loss of consistency. To understand the reasons for this, samples of unconcentrated juice, processing intermediates, and concentrated paste were collected from an industrial processing plant during normal commercial production. All samples were diluted with water to 5 degrees Brix and then analyzed for consistency and pectin content. Whole juice consistency, measured with a Bostwick consistometer, decreased through the course of juice concentration, with the largest change occurring early in the process, as the juice was concentrated from 5 to 10 degrees Brix. This decrease in consistency occurred during the production of paste from both hot- and cold-break juices. The change in Bostwick value was correlated with a decrease in the precipitate weight ratio. The loss of consistency during commercial processing was not the direct result of water removal because a sample of this same 5 degrees Brix juice could be concentrated 2-fold in a vacuum oven and then diluted back to 5 degrees Brix with no change in consistency or precipitate ratio. Total pectin content did not change as the juice was concentrated to paste, but the proportion of the total pectin that was water soluble increased. The greatest increases in pectin solubility occurred during the hot break and late in the process where the evaporator temperature was the highest.