Effect of different drying methods on the composition of steviol glycosides in Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni leaves
 
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1
Faculty of Medicine, Autonomous University of Yucatan, Itzaes Avenue, Number 498 x 59 y 59ª, City Center. Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, CP 97000
2
Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Autonomous University of Yucatan, North peripheral Km 33.5, Chuburna of Hidalgo Inn. Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, CP 97203
3
Mococha Experimental Station, National Institute for Forestry, Agriculture and Livestock Research (INIFAP), Km 25 old road Merida-Motul, Mococha, Yucatan, Mexico, CP 97454
 
Int. Agrophys. 2017, 31(1): 139–144
 
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ABSTRACT
Drying techniques can modify the composition of certain plant compounds. Therefore, the aim of the study was to assess the effect of different drying methods on steviol glycosides in Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni leaves. Four different drying methods were applied to Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni leaves, which were then subjected to aqueous extraction. Radiation or convection drying was performed in stoves at 60ºC, whereas shade or sun drying methods were applied at 29.7ºC and 70% of relative humidity. Stevioside, rebaudioside A, rebaudioside B, rebaudioside C, rebaudioside D, dulcoside A, and steviolbioside were quantified by a validated HPLC method. Among steviol glycosides, the content (g 100 g-1 dry basis) of stevioside, rebaudioside A, rebaudioside B, and rebaudioside C varied according to the drying method. The total glycoside content was higher in sun-dried samples, with no significant differences compared to shade or convection drying, whereas radiation drying adversely affected the content of rebaudioside A and rebaudioside C (p <0.01) and was therefore a method lowering total glycoside content. The effect of the different drying methods was also reflected in the proportion of the sweetener profile. Convection drying could be suitable for modern food processing industries while shadow or sun drying may be a low-cost alternative for farmers.
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