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Algerian date (Phoenix dactylifera L., dried variety Mech-Degla) fruits (DFs) are of low
commercial value. To our knowledge, research on the rehydration of DFs by soaking in citrus or other fruit juices is limited. The present paper reports on the soaking process of naturally dried DFs in orange juice (OJ). The DF rehydration ability was analyzed by applying two levels factorial design with three responses (DF weight gain, OJ °Brix and DF breaking strength) and three factors (soaking temperature “X1”, soaking time “X2” and OJ volumetric fraction “X3”). The optimal experimental conditions (X1 = 5 °C, X2 = 24 h and X3 = 0.1) allowed to achieve weight gain ~ 0.5, °brix ~ 16 °Bx and breaking strength of 0.6 N (i.e. against 3.7 N for the initial DFs). In addition, the resulting syrup-infused DFs showed a good heat treatment capability in terms of texture retention. The soaking of dried DFs in citrus juice like OJ could be an alternative to valorize such products.
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