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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Molecular Characterization of Foodborne Pathogens Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #397418

Research Project: Validation and Commercialization of Innovative Processing Technologies

Location: Molecular Characterization of Foodborne Pathogens Research

Title: Pasteurization of foods with ultrasound: the present and the future

item Bermudez-Aguirre, Luz
item Niemira, Brendan

Submitted to: Applied Sciences
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/11/2022
Publication Date: 10/15/2022
Citation: Bermudez-Aguirre, L.D., Niemira, B.A. 2022. Pasteurization of foods with ultrasound: the present and the future. Applied Sciences.

Interpretive Summary: This manuscript presents a novel technology that has been under study in the last twenty years, ultrasound. This technology can inactivate pathogens, yeast and molds, spoilage microorganisms and enzymes extending the shelf-life of the product. Ultrasound can achieve pasteurization standards. Results show the advantages of this technology for pasteurized food, such as better nutritional and physicochemical quality. Currently, the main challenges are related to the scale-up of the equipment, and the toxicological profile of sonicated products. This review presents the advances in ultrasound research and highlights the next steps to follow in the coming years.

Technical Abstract: In the last two decades, much research has been carried out using ultrasound as an alternative for pasteurization. Cavitation, the main effect of ultrasound, can disrupt and perforate cell membranes, generate free radicals, and produce sonoluminescence. Additional hurdles such as temperature, pressure, or antimicrobials, are required to achieve a 5-log reduction. Pathogens, spoilage microorganisms, yeast, and molds have been successfully inactivated. Currently, ultrasound is investigated as an option to reduce the content of aflatoxins during pasteurization. Ultrasound can inactivate those enzymes related to the stability of pasteurized food products, extending the shelf-life of the products. New uses of ultrasound are surging; for example, ultrasound has been studied as an option for pasteurizing plant-based foods. An important area of research is ultrasound’s effect on food's bioactive compounds. Results exhibit an increase in the concentration of phenolics, carotenoids, anthocyanins, and other nutrients after the use of ultrasound, because of an extractive effect. Finally, an area of concern in the early ages of ultrasound has been studied, food quality. In most cases, sonicated products have similar quality parameters to raw products. Lastly, there are some areas of opportunity in ultrasound's future, such as the equipment improvement, regulation, and toxicology of sonicated products.