UCDavis Emerita in Food Science and Technology Ms. Diane M. Barrett, who is also acquainted with our Managing Director Dr. Stefan Töpfl through his stay as visiting professor at UCDavis in 2015, contributes to the Pulsed Electric Field Technology on the blog of the Process EXPO:

‘Consumer interests in healthier and fresher foods have driven much of the interest in ‘advanced’ preservation methods, such as pulsed electric field (PEF) processing, which are safe but at the same time capable of imparting fresh-like characteristics to processed food. Pulsed electric field (PEF) treatments of less than 100 kV/cm are applied to foods placed between 2 electrodes at ambient or slightly above ambient temperatures for less than 1 sec. As described in a Food and Drug Administration report [Kinetics of Microbial Inactivation for Alternative Food Processing Technologies — Executive Summary], microbial inactivation is proposed to occur via one of several processes, the most studied of which are membrane electroporation and electrical breakdown. Detrimental changes in physical, sensory or nutritional properties are minimized due to the short heating treatments.

PEF has been utilized for juice pasteurization to a limited extent in the U.S., but in Europe there are several PEF treated juices in the commercial marketplace. Pulsed electrical fields enhance extraction of juices, resulting in higher yields. Potato processors in the U.S., Canada, Europe, India, China and Australia are currently using Elea GmbH PEF treatments [Elea GmbH@PotatoPro] for cell disintegration, in place of the preheater operation. In this application, pulsed electrical fields create pores in cell membranes, which enable the loss of primarily liquid contents, and more efficient heating with less use of water.


Read full article on the blog of Processing EXPO