Pulsed Electric Field Processing
Several processing techniques like ultrasound treatment, ultraviolet irradiation, gamma irradiation, treatment with non-conventional chemical reagents, high-intensity magnetic field, high-pressure processing, use of membrane technology, and application of high-voltage pulsed electric field (PEF) have been investigated to attain sufficient microbial reduction while maintaining food quality. PEF is a novel non-thermal processing technology which applies the concept of applying high-intensity electrical pulses to food products in order to achieve microbial inactivation and further stored under refrigeration with proper packing mechanism resulting in increase of shelf life of the food product. PEF induces structural changes and a rapid breakdown of the cell membrane, which is known as electroporation, due to which there is increase in permeability and electrical conductivity of cellular material. The microorganism’s inactivation by PEF is associated mainly to the breakdown of the cell membrane and its electromechanical instability. The treatment chamber is one of the most important components of the PEF system.