Chapter 10

Alternative Non-Thermal Approaches: Microwave, Ultrasound, Pulsed Electric Fields, Irradiation

Nilde Di Benedetto, Marianne Perricone and Maria Rosaria Corbo

Abstract

This chapter proposes a description of some non-thermal technologies (microwave, ultrasound, pulsed technologies, irradiation) as suitable tools to inactivate foodborne pathogens and spoiling microorganisms in heat-sensitive foods. </P> <P> Ultrasound (US) is defined as pressure waves with a frequencies of 20 kHz or more; pulsed electric field (PEF) processing involves treating foods placed between electrodes by high voltage pulses in the order of 20- 80 kV/cm (usually for a couple of microseconds); ionizing irradiation occurs when one or more electrons are removed from the electronic orbital of the atom; and microwaves (MW) are defined as electromagnetic waves in the range of infrared (IR) and radio waves (RF) with a wavelength ranging from 1 mm to 1 m and operating at a frequency ranging from 300 Mhz to 300 Ghz. Each technique allows killing of vegetative microorganisms but fail until now, when applied alone, to destroy spores. </P> <P> This chapter reports some practical applications of the proposed approaches in food industry and also focuses on their drawbacks and limitations.

Total Pages: 143-160 (18)

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