The Potential of Exploiting Economical Solar Dryer in Food Preservation: Storability, Physicochemical Properties, and Antioxidant Capacity of Solar-Dried Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Fruits

Published: 2021
Foods 2021, 10, 734
ISBN: ISSN 2304-8158


This study investigated the effect of solar drying on storability and physiochemical and antioxidant capacities of dried tomatoes. Sliced fruit was dried at 45 ± 2 °C for 24 h under a solar tunnel dryer and stored at ambient temperature for 90 and 180 days. Solar drying treatments significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the bacterial and mold load, and eliminated Staphylococcus aureus, S. saprophyticus, and Escherichia coli in all samples. Solar drying treatment reduced the water activity of the dried tomato’s to 0.31 that remained at the same level during storage period 180 days. Storage of dried tomato slices resulted in the decrease of both color and vitamin C content while it increased the total carotenoid, lycopene, phenolic compound content, and antioxidant activity. Furthermore, the principle component analysis (PCA) revealed that solar drying of tomato slices enhanced its physicochemical properties, antioxidant capacity particularly after storage for 90 and 180 days. Interestingly, the solar drying process enhanced tomato slices storage and physicochemical characteristics, that resulted in extending the shelf life by up to 6 months, indicating the great potential application of low-tech solar in food industry and could become an emerging effective post-harvest preservative method for seasonal perishable vegetable and fruit, particularly in developing countries.

Salah A. Al Maiman
Nawal A. Albadr
Ibrahim A. Almusallam
Mohammed Jawad Al-Saád
Sarah Alsuliam
Magdi A. Osman
Amro B. Hassan
AGYA Project:
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