Food Science and Technology (Campinas)
On-line version ISSN 1678-457X
SCHMIDT, Franciny Campos; CARCIOFI, Bruno Augusto Mattar and LAURINDO, João Borges. Effect of vacuum impregnation on mass transfer during the salting process of chicken breast cuts. Ciênc. Tecnol. Aliment. [online]. 2008, vol.28, n.2, pp. 366-372. ISSN 1678-457X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-20612008000200015.
Vacuum impregnation has been studied as an alternative for reducing time in the salting process applied to different kinds of food. In this study, the influence of vacuum application on the salting process of chicken breast cuts was evaluated. The chicken samples were submerged in solutions with different NaCl concentrations and two processes were evaluated: a) a process entirely under atmospheric pressure (API); and b) a process with vacuum application followed by atmospheric pressure restoration (VI). Mass transfers were characterized by water gain (WG), salt gain (SG), and total weight increment (WI). The comparison between the VI and API processes, with 6 hours of immersion time, indicated that the utilization of an initial vacuum period can increase the WG, SG and WI in 78, 25 and 54%, respectively. This is due to the synergistic contribution of the hydrodynamic mechanisms (HDM) to the existing osmotic and diffusive mechanisms. Thus, VI can be considered as an alternative for the salting process of chicken cuts. However, special care must be taken in order to assure that water and salt increments are compatible with legal and technological requirements.
Keywords : mass transfer; vacuum impregnation; salting process.