The aim of this work was to investigate the integration of the cooking and vacuum cooling of potatoes in a single vessel. For integrated process of water immersion cooking followed by vacuum cooling with the samples immersed in the cooking water (ICk + IVC), water gain of about 3.4% was observed, instead of water loss. However, twofold longer cooling times were necessary when compared with immersion cooking followed by vacuum cooling performed after draining of the water cooking (ICk + VC) and for steaming cooking followed by vacuum cooling (SCk + VC). Water loss of approximately 15% was observed for ICk + VC and SCk + VC processes. On the other hand, weight losses can be compensated by a rehydration stage, immerging cooked‐cooled samples in a small amount of sterile cold water. The maximum compression force of the samples processed by ICk + VC was twofold higher than for samples processed by ICk + IVC and SCk + VC processes.
For the preparation of ready‐to‐eat meals, the use of cooked vegetables is common. These products are often cooled by slow air cooling, air blast or water immersion cooling. Many studies concerning new technologies for food cooling have reported the viability of using the vacuum cooling technique to reduce the cooling time. In this way, the objective of this work was to investigate the possibility of integrating cooking and cooling of potatoes in a single vessel using the vacuum cooling technique. The achieved results demonstrated that the integrated process of cooking and vacuum cooling of potatoes in a single vessel is a viable alternative for processing such kind of food.