Investigations were performed to study the freeze-drying process of kale (Brassica oleracea L. var acephala). The process of freeze-drying was performed at temperatures of 20, 40, and 60°C for whole pieces of leaves and for pulped leaves. The kinetics of the freeze-drying of both kale leaves and kale pulp were best described by the Page model. The increasing freeze-drying temperature from 20 to 60°C induced an approximately two-fold decrease in the drying time. Freeze-drying significantly increased the value of the lightness, delta Chroma, and browning index of kale, and had little influence on the hue angle. The highest increase in the lightness and delta Chroma was observed for whole leaves freeze-dried at 20°C. An increase in the drying temperature brought about a slight decrease in the lightness, delta Chroma and the total colour difference. Pulping decreased the lightness and hue angle, and increased browning index. Freeze-drying engendered a slight decrease in the total phenolics content and antioxidant activity, in comparison to fresh leaves. The temperature of the process and pulping had little influence on the total phenolics content and antioxidant activity of dried kale, but significantly decreased the contents of chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b.
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