Development of probiotic-enriched dried fruits by vacuum impregnation
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In this study an attempt is made to combine the beneficial effects of probiotics with fruit and vegetables by applying the vacuum impregnation process. Apple cylinders were impregnated either with commercial apple juice containing Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and with whole milk or apple juice containing 10(7) or 10(8) cfu/ml of Lactobacillus casei (spp. rhamnosus). Impregnated apple samples contained around 10(7) cfu/g. In order to increase stability and to assure fruit preservation, impregnated apple samples were air dried at 40 degreesC to a water content of 0.037 kg water/kg dry matter and stored at room temperature for two months. The content of L. casei viable cells in dried and stored product was greater than 10(6) cfu/g. This concentration level of probiotics is similar to that in commercial dairy products.