Objective: This study aimed to explore the effects of different drying methods on the volatile components of taro slices. Methods: Volatile compound composition and volatile characteristics of five different drying methods of dried taro slices were studied. Taro and the ones dried by five drying methods, i.e. hot-air drying (HAD), contact-ultrasound enhanced hot-air drying (CU-HAD), far-infrared radiation drying (FIRD), contact-ultrasound enhanced far-infrared radiation drying (CU-FIRD) and freeze drying (FD),were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) with water-vapor distillation method. Volatile components were analyzed in conjunction with principal component analysis (PCA). Results: A total of 149 volatile compounds were detected in the fresh, pretreated, and dried taro slices, including 54 kinds of alkanes, 20 kinds of esters, 18 kinds of heterocyclic groups, 12 kinds of alcohols, 11 kinds of ketones, 11 kinds of olefins, 8 kinds of aldehydes, 4 kinds of acids and 13 kinds of other compounds. Using the area normalization method, it could be concluded that the volatile components of dried taro slices with different drying methods were mainly heterocyclic compounds and esters. Taro slices treated with HAD had the least volatile components which were only 42 species, followed by the FIRD--treatments, with 46 kinds of volatile components . Although CU-HAD treated taro had more volatile components, most of them were hydrocarbons, which contributed less to the flavor of taro. Cu-FIRD and FD treated taro had similar overall components, but CU-FIRD took the shortest time. Combined with results of PCA, CU-FIRD showed the best retention and processing effect of volatile components in taro. Conclusion: The combination of direct contact ultrasound and far-infrared radiation heating had better protective effect on the flavor of taro than that of single ultrasound and single far-infrared radiation.

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