UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Pulsed Light treatment below a Critical Fluence (3.82 J/cm²) minimizes photo-degradation and browning of a model Phenolic (Gallic Acid) Solution Wiktor, Artur; Mandal, Ronit; Singh, Anika; Pratap Singh, Anubhav

Abstract

Pulsed light (PL) is one of the most promising non-thermal technologies used in food preservation and processing. Its application results in reduction of microbial load as well as influences the quality of food. The data about the impact of PL on bioactive compounds is ambiguous, therefore the aim of this study was to analyze the effect of PL treatment of a gallic acid aqueous solution—as a model system of phenolic abundant liquid food matrices. The effect of PL treatment was evaluated based on colour, phenolic content concentration and antioxidant activity measured by DPPH assay using a design of experiments approach. The PL fluence (which is the cumulative energy input) was varied by varying the pulse frequency and time. Using Response Surface Methodology, prediction models were developed for the effect of fluence on gallic acid properties. It was demonstrated that PL can modify the optical properties of gallic acid and cause reactions and degradation of gallic acid. However, application of PL did not significantly alter the overall quality of the model gallic acid solution at low fluence levels. Cluster analysis revealed that below 3.82 J/cm², changes in gallic acid were minimal, and this fluence level could be used as the critical level for food process design aiming to minimize nutrient loss.

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