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C-phycocyanin, cyanocobalamin, retinol, spray-drying, non-blanched freezing
Spirulina platensis is an important aquatic source of functional components in foods and pharmaceutical products. The main purpose of present research was investigating the effect of processing methods (shade-, sun-, oven-, microwave-, vacuum oven-, freeze- and spray-drying and freezing with and without blanching) on colour properties and important photochemical components (vitamins and pigments) of Spirulina. In dehydrated samples, the spray-dried Spirulina had the highest level of carotenoids and chlorophylls. Due to the protein structure of C-phycocyanin, the lyophilised sample contained the highest C-phycocyanin level. There were significant correlations in pigments content and colour properties (L* a* b* ?E) of processed samples. Thiamine, niacin, pyridoxine, cyanocobalamin and retinol were important water- and fat-soluble vitamins of Spirulina. Generally, spray drying was a suitable method for retarding chlorophylls degradation, carotenoids oxidation and isomerisation, and preserving the highest level of vitamins in Spirulina platensis compared to other drying processes, although, non-blanched freezing was preferred.
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