Prof. Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University, India
Title: Freeze drying technology for floral preservation - Prospect and process
Mahalakshmi V. Reddy Is currently working as a Associine Dean, College of Home Science, belongs to department of RMCS
Production of dried flowers with beautiful shapes and colours has been a phenomenon that has taken the floral industry by a storm. An endless creative, business application for the freeze drying process has found to be the newest opportunity in the floral industry. Flowers can be freeze dried for longevity and exquisiteness. Technically, freeze drying technology is the only process of preservation which removes moisture in such a way that the flowers maintain their original shape, texture and colour better than other methods. Preliminary research resulted in encouraging results, thereby determining suitability of freeze drying process in maintaining the quality of seasonal and exotic flowers using a floral freeze dryer. The floral preservation process comprises of selection, hydration, pre-treatment, freeze drying and post-treatment of flowers. Selection of flower and its state of freshness was an important step in freeze drying process. In addition, the hydration treatment enhances the natural beauty of the flowers. Selected flowers were allowed to stay in pre-treatment solutions before they were transferred to the floral freeze dryer. It was found that flower responded differently to various pre-treatment solutions. The quality of the flowers was evaluated subjectively in terms of colour, form, texture and appearance. The process involved careful monitoring and controlling temperature and pressure for a period of 14 days. Post-treatment to flowers is an essential step to minimise damage due to environmental factors.
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