The increasing demand for functional foods requires the design, simulation, and further optimization of preservation processes of food with the purpose of keeping as high as possible the functionality of food products. Many studies have shown that the high consumption of fruit and vegetables prevent chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cancer, among others. Fruits and vegetables are important sources of nutrients, dietary fibers, and phytochemicals. However, after harvest, they are highly perishable because of their high moisture content of almost 3–9 g H2O/g db. Solar and airflow drying processes have been the most popular methods to increase the shelf life of these products. Nevertheless, low organoleptic and nutritional quality, hygiene problems, and long drying periods constitute significant barriers to a more widespread use. “Swell-drying” is a special drying process convective airflow drying (CAD) to the instant controlled pressure-drop (DIC) expansion. This process is well-known as guaranteeing (1) the preservation of functional properties; (2) the organoleptic quality; (3) the effective microbiological/fungi decontamination; and (4) a reduced energy consumption and a lower drying time. DIC treatment is a high temperature/short time (HTST) process that improves both performance of drying process and high-quality functional foods.
Part of the book: Functional Foods