The textural characteristics of onion slices (Allium cepa L.) of 3- and 7-mm thicknesses undergoing convective drying (50, 60, and 70°C) and microwave drying (68, 204, and 340 W real effective power levels) techniques with or without pre-treatment were evaluated. Pre-treatment consisted of dipping into brine solution (8% NaCl). Texture profile analysis at 25% compression was applied and hardness, chewiness, springiness and gumminess values of onions were recorded. As the temperature (convective) or real effective power level (microwave) increased, the hardness and chewiness levels of dried onion slices were enhanced. The values of these parameters were higher in response to microwave application compared to convective drying. Pre-treatment had an additive effect on hardness and chewiness in convectively dried samples. Maximum springiness was observed in response to convective drying. Dipping in brine solution generally caused no significant changes among slices of the same thickness (P < 0.05). With respect to gumminess, the results were quite similar to those for hardness and chewiness, i.e., markedly higher in microwave-dried onions.
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