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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #247206

Title: Nonthermal processing technologies for food

item Zhang, Howard
item BARBOSA-CANOVAS, GUSTAVO - Washington State University
item BALASUBRAMANIAM, V - The Ohio State University
item DUNNE, C - Us Army Natick Center
item FARKAS, DANIEL - Oregon State University
item YUAN, JAMES - Pepsico

Submitted to: Complete Book
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2010
Publication Date: 2/7/2011
Citation: Zhang, H.Q., Barbosa-Canovas, G.V., Balasubramaniam, V.M., Dunne, C.P., Farkas, D.F., Yuan, J.T. 2011. Nonthermal processing technologies for food. Malaysia: IFT Press. 640 p.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Looking forward into the future of food science/technology/engineering, in the emerging area of nonthermal processing of foods, is definitely an adventure. It is open-ended and full of uncertainties. Lessons learned from the past should always serve as a good basis for envisioning the future of this growing field, even though emerging and unexpected challenges in food processing are making the integration of what is known with what is coming difficult. This integration embraces the fascination with the new, but also addresses the responsibility demanded of scientists for accuracy of research, and proper extrapolations from the laboratory bench to the production floor, and to the marketplace where the best predictions are made. We have the tools to visualize what is coming, but it is our dreams and vision, if not our ambitions, that inspire us to go beyond what can be viewed with mathematical models and complicated algorithms. The food industry, one of the most conservative sectors in the food production chain, is experiencing to a degree never before encountered the need for change and innovation. Consumers have become much more demanding, better educated in terms of food quality and nutritional aspects, forcing producers along with regulatory agencies to search for technologies that offer better products with greater safety. Scientists and avid researchers are incorporating knowledge acquired from very different and disconnected disciplines, in order to wisely blend this research pool of information with what is commonly known in food science/food engineering domains. The outcomes have been quite unexpected, though very much welcome in regard to food quality and safety, and it is envisioned this trend will persist in the years to come. Nonthermal processing of foods has essentially meant unprecedented opportunities for the industrial sector, in providing better health and wellness for the consumer, and unforeseen new food products of excellent quality without compromising safety. The challenges surrounding these emerging technologies are immense, but the long list of interested groups in support of their development is growing in an exponential fashion. Nonthermal processing technologies are being advanced and making a significant, positive impact in the food sector. This handbook covers basic information and some of the recent developments in nonthermal processing of food, and the attempts, via predicted pathways, to identify future development in the field generated from the ingenuity and creative approach of a well trained and resourceful community. The development of nonthermal processing techniques for processing of food has resulted in an excellent balance between safety and minimal processing; between cost and superior quality; and between novel approaches and use of existing process installations to optimize resources. Nonthermal processing could be perceived as an alternative to conventional thermal processing, but this is just a small piece of the role that nonthermal processing could play in the food factory of the future. Nonthermal processing can be effectively combined with thermal processing, and interesting synergistic effects have already been identified. Other significant synergisms could be achieved by combining selected nonthermal technologies, as well as by combining these with other microbial stress factors, such as pH, water activity modifiers, and inclusion of antimicrobials and/or bacteriocins. At the same time, nonthermal processing facilitates the development of new products never envisioned before, a series of niche markets that will eventually receive wide attention in the years to come. The opportunities for such new products are countless, and most will have superb quality and very attractive prices. Nonthermal technologies can be used for decontamination, pasteurization and, in some cases, ste