Luminița Catană, Monica Catană, Enuța Iorga, Anda-Grațiela Lazăr, Monica-Alexandra Lazăr, Răzvan Ionuț Teodorescu, Adrian Constantin Asănică, Nastasia Belc and Alexandra Iancu
Jerusalem artichoke tubers (Helianthus tuberosus) are distinguished by their protein, minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, etc.) and inulin content. Inulin can be used in the diet of diabetics as a substitute of sugar, without having an impact on blood glucose. At the same time, an international study had shown that due to their inulin content, regular consumption of Jerusalem artichoke tubers can help to prevent type 2 diabetes. In this paper are presented the results of the researches performed to achieve a functional ingredient (powder) with high nutritional value by processing of Jerusalem artichoke tubers. Thus, the Jerusalem artichoke tubers (Red Jerusalem artichoke and White Jerusalem artichoke varieties) were subjected to a convective drying process at 50°C, to protect bioactive components (vitamins, phenolic compounds, etc.) to a moisture content that allow their milling and turning them into powder and, at the same time, their stability in terms of quality. The achieved functional ingredient was evaluated sensory, physicchemically and microbiologically. The powder obtained from Jerusalem artichoke tubers is characterized by their inulin-type fructans (51.60... 57.45%), crude fiber (6.85...8.27%), total polyphenols (18.51... 44.03 mg GAE/g), proteins (8.75...9.26%), iron (12.45...13.88 mg/100g), potassium (1905.44...2100.35 mg/100g), calcium (50.21...57.45mg/100g), magnesium (84.55...89.95mg/100g) and phosphorus content (300.12...345.35 mg/100g). At the same time, powder achieved from Jerusalem artichoke tubers has antioxidant potential. Due to its complex biochemical composition, the functional ingredient achieved from Jerusalem artichoke tubers can be used to fortify food and also as a sweetening agent for products destined to diabetics.