Bee pollen is becoming an important product thanks to its nutritional properties, including a high content of bioactive compounds such as essential amino acids, antioxidants, and vitamins. Fresh bee pollen has a high water content (15%–30% wt %), thus it is a good substrate for microorganisms. Traditional conservation methods include drying in a hot air chamber and/or freezing. These techniques may significantly affect the pollen organoleptic properties and its content of bioactive compounds. Here, a new conservation method, microwave drying, is introduced and investigated. The method implies irradiating the fresh pollen with microwaves under vacuum, in order to reduce the water content without reaching temperatures capable of thermally deteriorating important bioactive compounds. The method was evaluated by taking into account the nutritional properties after the treatment. The analyzed parameters were phenols, flavonoids, with special reference to rutin content, and amino acids. Results showed that microwave drying offers important advantages for the conservation of bee pollen. Irrespective of microwave power and treatment time, phenol and flavonoid content did not vary over untreated fresh pollen. Similarly, rutin content was unaffected by the microwave drying, suggesting that the microwave-assisted drying could be a powerful technology to preserve bioprotective compounds in fresh pollen.

Microwave-Assisted Drying for the Conservation of Honeybee Pollen

CANALE, ANGELO;BENELLI, GIOVANNI;CASTAGNA, ANTONELLA;SGHERRI, CRISTINA;POLI, PIERA;SERRA, ANDREA;MELE, MARCELLO;RANIERI, ANNAMARIA;NICOLELLA, CRISTIANO
2016

Abstract

Bee pollen is becoming an important product thanks to its nutritional properties, including a high content of bioactive compounds such as essential amino acids, antioxidants, and vitamins. Fresh bee pollen has a high water content (15%–30% wt %), thus it is a good substrate for microorganisms. Traditional conservation methods include drying in a hot air chamber and/or freezing. These techniques may significantly affect the pollen organoleptic properties and its content of bioactive compounds. Here, a new conservation method, microwave drying, is introduced and investigated. The method implies irradiating the fresh pollen with microwaves under vacuum, in order to reduce the water content without reaching temperatures capable of thermally deteriorating important bioactive compounds. The method was evaluated by taking into account the nutritional properties after the treatment. The analyzed parameters were phenols, flavonoids, with special reference to rutin content, and amino acids. Results showed that microwave drying offers important advantages for the conservation of bee pollen. Irrespective of microwave power and treatment time, phenol and flavonoid content did not vary over untreated fresh pollen. Similarly, rutin content was unaffected by the microwave drying, suggesting that the microwave-assisted drying could be a powerful technology to preserve bioprotective compounds in fresh pollen.
Canale, Angelo; Benelli, Giovanni; Castagna, Antonella; Sgherri, Cristina; Poli, Piera; Serra, Andrea; Mele, Marcello; Ranieri, Annamaria; Signorini, Francesca; Bientinesi, Matteo; Nicolella, Cristiano
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/793186
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