Tailoring bilberry powder functionality through preprocessing and drying
Journal article, 2019
Berry powders are popular as ingredients in a range of food products, where they naturally provide flavor, color, texture, polyphenols, fiber, and other nutrients. The choices regarding processing techniques and conditions influence the quality attributes of berry powders. The aim of this study was to study the effects on bilberry powder functionalities of applying different preprocessing techniques (purée mixing and juice pressing vs. untreated whole berries) prior to hot air drying and milling. Drying of press cake reduced the drying time by 72% and increased the total apparent phenolic content of the final powder by 44%, as compared to the powder of dried whole berries. The press cake powder showed an easier flowing behavior than the powders from whole berries and puréed berries. Dispersibility (in water and dairy cream) was 60% higher for powders from whole berries and puréed berries, as compared to press cake. The total phenolic content of the dispersed powders was highest for whole berries and puréed berries. Bilberry powder functionality can be modulated through the selection of an appropriate preprocessing technique before drying and milling. This tailors the powder properties into food ingredients ready for different applications, without the need for additives.