Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 17, 2006
Publication Date: June 25, 2006
Citation: Zhang, H.Q. 2006. An outlook of nonthermal processing technologies as food safety intervention strategies. IFT Annual Meeting, June 24-28, 2006, Orlando, FL. Paper No. 17-01. p. 1. Technical Abstract: Foods should provide sensorial satisfaction and nutrition to people. Yet, foodborne pathogens cause significant illness and lose of life to human kind every year. A processing intervention step may be necessary prior to the consumption to ensure the safety of foods. Nonthermal processing technologies carry the promise of better product quality while maintaining food safety compared to established thermal processes. Current status and efficacy of nonthermal processing technologies as food safety intervention strategies are reviewed in this lecture. Each nonthermal technology finds product- specific niche applications. Food irradiation and high pressure processing find commercial applications in solid foods, such as meat, sea foods, and spices. Pulsed electric fields and UV find their ways to the commercial marketplace through fruit juices and beverages. Dense phase carbon dioxide and RFEF processes also demonstrated potential for juice and beverages. Fresh and fresh-cut produce, on the other hand, still rely on chemical sanitizers to reduce microbial load. Physical and chemical processes in exploration include ozone, irradiation, chlorine dioxide and cold plasma. Biological control using competitive exclusion principle is promising in sprout production yet facing regulatory challenge. Combinational processes are thought when a single technology is either insufficient or too expensive. A typical example is combining mild/reduced thermal process with a nonthermal pre-process. Globalization is the trend in today’s social and economical development. Nonthermal processing technologies are also developed cross borderlines and in collaborations, especially in areas of consumer acceptance and regulatory approval. Nonthermal processing technologies may bring fresh-like quality foods to consumers. The safety of nonthermally processed foods should be vigorously tested and validated with relevant pathogens prior to commercial productions.