Emerging Food Processing Technologies
Heat treatment is commonly used to inactivate microorganisms and produce shelf-stable foods. These processes, when properly designed and operated, can ensure a high level of food safety. However, these processes often involve high-temperature long-time heating that causes deteriorations in food quality such as degradations in color, texture, and flavor and loss of vitamins and antioxidant capacities. Considerable effort has been made to develop new technologies that are able to effectively inactivate microbial while reducing the negative impact on quality attributes. A number of different processes have been studied extensively as alternatives to the conventional thermal processing. These methods can be categorized into thermal and nonthermal processing technologies, depending on their mechanism of the microbial inactivation. In this chapter, some of these emerging technologies are covered including thermal processing (microwave and radio-frequency heating) and nonthermal processing methods (high-pressure and pulsed electric field processing). The fundamentals of these technologies, some technical aspects, and research and application status are briefly introduced.
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