Submitted to: Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/6/2012
Publication Date: 1/1/2013
Citation: Sampedro, F., Mcaloon, A.J., Yee, W.C., Fan, X., Zhang, H.Q., Geveke, D.J. 2013. Cost analysis of commercial pasteurization of orange juice by pulsed electric fields. Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies. 17:72-78. Interpretive Summary: Pasteurization of orange juice by pulsed electric fields (PEF) results in a higher quality product compared to traditional thermal pasteurization. However, industry has not embraced this new technology and the main reason for this may be the lack of a comprehensive cost analysis. Therefore, this study estimated the cost of PEF pasteurization of orange juice. Experiments showed that PEF processing at 30 kV/cm and 60 C reduced E. coli, Salmonella Typhimurium, and Lactobacillus by 99.999% or more and the resulting pasteurized juice had a refrigerated shelf-life of at least 2 months. A large-scale commercial PEF system was designed, based on the experimental results, and the total pasteurization cost was estimated to be 3.7 cents/L. Of this, capital costs, labor costs, and utility charges accounted for 2.0, 1.3, and 0.4 cents/L, respectively. The total PEF cost was 2.2 cents/L more than that of traditional thermal processing. A deeper knowledge of the processing costs will afford companies a better understanding of the benefits and limitations of PEF pasteurization.
Technical Abstract: The cost of pulsed electric field (PEF) pasteurization of orange juice was estimated. The cost analysis was based on processing conditions that met the US FDA (5 log reduction) requirement for fruit juice pasteurization and that achieved a 2 month microbial shelf-life. PEF-treated samples processed at 30 kV/cm and 60 C had reductions in E. coli, Salmonella Typhimurium and Lactobacillus of greater than 5 log and had a microbial shelf-life of 2 months at 4 C. Total pasteurization cost was estimated to be 3.7 cents/L. Of this, capital costs accounted for 54% (2.0 cents/L), labor costs accounted for 35% (1.3 cents/L) and utility charges, mainly electricity, accounted for 11% (0.4 cents/L). The total PEF cost was 147% (2.2 cents/L) more than that of conventional thermal processing (1.5 cents/L). A deeper knowledge of the processing costs of PEF technology will afford companies a better understanding of the benefits and limitations of nonthermal processing.