Submitted to: Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/19/2007
Publication Date: 8/1/2007
Citation: Geveke, D.J., Fan, X., Brunkhorst, C. 2007. Radio frequency electric fields processing of orange juice. Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies. 8:549-554. Interpretive Summary: The radio frequency electric fields (RFEF) process has been shown to inactivate Escherichia coli in apple juice at moderately low temperatures, but has yet to be extended to inactivate bacteria in orange juice. A RFEF pilot plant pasteurizer was used to process orange juice at rates of up to 1.4 l/min. RFEF processing reduced the population of E. coli by 99.3 percent at 60 C and a hold time of 3 sec, whereas conventional heating at the same conditions had no effect on the E. coli. This work demonstrated that the nonthermal RFEF process can be extended to inactivate bacteria in orange juice.
Technical Abstract: The nonthermal process of radio frequency electric fields (RFEF) has been shown to inactivate bacteria in apple juice at moderately low temperatures, but has yet to be extended to inactivate bacteria in orange juice. An 80 kW RFEF pasteurizer was used to process pulp-free orange juice at flow rates of 1.0 and 1.4 l/min. Escherichia coli K12 in apple juice was exposed to electric field strengths of 15 and 20 kV/cm at frequencies of 21, 30, and 40 kHz. Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) content and color of the juice before and after treatment were analyzed. Electrical energy costs were calculated using the measured voltage and current. An energy balance was performed using the inlet and outlet temperatures. Processing at an outlet temperature of 65 C reduced the population of E. coli by 3.3 log relative to the control. Increasing the treatment time and temperature and decreasing the frequency enhanced the level of inactivation. Varying the electric field strength over the range of conditions used had no effect on the inactivation. No loss in ascorbic acid or enzymatic browning was observed due to RFEF processing. The electrical energy determined using the voltage and current was 180 J/ml. This was in good agreement with the energy calculated using the temperature data. The electrical cost was 0.0026 Dollars per liter of orange juice. The results provided the first evidence that the RFEF process inactivates bacteria in orange juice at moderately low temperatures.