Sulfurization is one of the most effective methods used to preserve foods. It is widely used for drying fruits because it is cheap, provides effective protection and is easy to use. Sulfurization takes place mostly in dried apricots.
Why is sulfur added to dried apricots?
Sulfurization is the process of applying sulfur dioxide (SO2) to a dried or dried fruit. When sulfur is burned in a closed environment, sulfur dioxide gas is released. Here, apricots are exposed to sulfur dioxide gas for a certain period. This process prevents browning reactions of dried apricots that occur during drying or storage. Thus, it preserves the golden yellow color which is the natural characteristic of the apricot. It also prevents spoilage caused by microorganisms.
There are different methods to be done before, during and after drying. If the fruits are to be dried in the sun, this process must be done before drying. It should be applied to fruits that have been dried by artificial means both before and during drying.
Apart from these, apricots can be dried without applying sulfur. The color of apricots dried in this way changes to dark brown. At the same time, the texture of apricot dried by sulfurization is softer. The phenolic content is higher in sulphured apricots. Apricots dried in the sun without sulfurization are richer in antioxidants.
One of the biggest problems experienced in this method is that the farmers who perform the sulfurization process do not have sufficient knowledge. This situation causes high sulfurization of the products. In terms of our health, sulfur products trigger an asthma attack. For this reason, asthma patients should be careful when consuming foods containing sulfur.
As a result, the most suitable drying method should be selected by considering the raw material properties and storage conditions of the fruits to be dried. If sulfurization is to be done, it should be applied to the product at a sufficient level and excessive sulfurization should be avoided. For this reason, it is important to train the workers who perform the sulphuring process.