, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 31-46

Recent Studies Related to Microwave Processing of Fluid Foods

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Abstract

Microwave heating is a convenient way to heat materials; it is considered to be a fast, clean, and easy to use technology. The use of microwaves for industrial food unit operations is the subject of research since several years ago. However, the application of microwaves depends, among other variables, on the dielectric properties of the material to be heated; otherwise, the efficiency of the process and the quality of the final product cannot be guaranteed. This paper reviews basic concepts related to microwaves and dielectric properties, and then it presents reported dielectric properties data for selected fluid foods and microwave-heating processes that have been recently studied. These processes are focused mainly on microbial inactivation, enzyme inactivation, chemical, physical, or sensory changes evaluation, or for reheating. The temperature uniformity is also discussed as a key issue for successful application of microwave heating, which is now applied by some companies.