HYGROSCOPIC EQUILIBRIUM AND TEXTURE OF FREEZE-DRIED FOODS
Technical rept. 1 Aug 1965-31 Jul 1966
ARMY NATICK LABS MA FOOD LAB
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Improved methodology for the objective evaluation of food texture was applied to the measurement of the textural parameters of special freeze-dried foods which were storage-equilibrated under different relative humidity conditions. The foods included pre-cooked freeze-dried beef, laminated freeze- dried products in the form of bite-size sandwiches, and compressed freeze-dried cubes, all of which were designed for consumption without prior rehydration. The results showed that increasing relative humidity from zero to 66 caused an increase in hardness and cohesiveness, and, in certain foods, a decrease in brittleness crushability index. This was more pronounced at equilibrium points above the B.E.T. value for a monomolecular layer of water. Plots of physico-chemical parameters of water vapor sorption versus rheological properties at different points of the moisture sorption isotherm were examined. The selection of certain target relative humidity values to minimize undesirable changes upon storage, and promising avenues for continued work on the textural quality and acceptability of special freeze-dried foods are discussed.
- Food, Food Service and Nutrition