Evaluation of the retention of antioxidants in grape tomatoes using microwave vacuum drying
Microwave energy combined with a vacuum environment can be used for rapid low temperature dehydration and produce high quality food products. Industrial processing of tomatoes involves various treatment steps that affect the final profile of antioxidants in commercial food products. The goal of this project is to evaluate the retention of antioxidants in grape tomatoes using microwave vacuum drying. The influence of retention of antioxidants in grape tomatoes by microwave vacuum drying will be compared with air drying and freeze drying. A portable Raman spectrometer will also be manufactured and used to characterize the chemical compositions of grape tomatoes after dehydration. Raman spectroscopy can be applied for on-site prediction of antioxidant profiles of grape tomatoes using microwave vacuum drying.