Background and Objectives: Red beet extract concentrate can be used as a natural colorant in food products; however, destructive effects of thermal methods to produce juice concentrate decrease nutritional value in the final product.
Materials and Methods: In this study, red beet extract was concentrated using osmotic distillation method, and the best pretreatment was evaluated to increase the efficiency of the concentration process. Also changes in some physicochemical properties such as betacyanins and betaxanthins contents, total phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity of red beet juice were evaluated by both the membrane and thermal concentration methods.
Results: The results showed that the best concentration efficiency was obtained after pretreatment of the fresh juice with centrifugation at 1699 G for 17 min. Evaluation of the effect of both the membrane and thermal concentration processes on the physicochemical properties of juice showed that the membrane method did not change betacyanin and betaxanthin contents, total phenolic compounds, and antioxidant activity of the red beet extract. However, these properties decreased with the thermal concentration method by 26, 15, 11 and 13%, respectively.
Conclusions: According to the results, osmotic distillation can produce red beet concentrate with more nutritional value than the concentrate produced with thermal method.
Keywords: Membrane, Natural betalain colorant, Osmotic distillation, Red beet