UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Applications of Pulsed Light Decontamination Technology in Food Processing: An Overview Mandal, Ronit; Mohammadi, Xanyar; Wiktor, Artur; Singh, Anika; Pratap Singh, Anubhav

Abstract

Consumers of the 21st century tend to be more aware and demand safe as well as nutritionally balanced food. Unfortunately, conventional thermal processing makes food safe at the cost of hampering nutritional value. The food industry is trying to develop non-thermal processes for food preservation. Pulsed light (PL) is one such emerging non-thermal food processing method that can decontaminate food products or food contact surfaces using white light. Exposure to intense light pulses (in infrared, visible, and ultraviolet (UV) regions) causes the death of microbial cells, rendering the food safe at room temperature. PL technology is an excellent and rapid method of disinfection of product surfaces and is increasingly being used for food surfaces and packaging decontamination, enabling the minimal processing of food. This paper aims to give an overview of the latest trends in pulsed light research, discuss principles of pulse generation, and review applications of various PL systems for the inactivation of microorganisms in vitro, in various food products, and on food contact surfaces. Effects of PL on food quality, challenges of the process, and its prospects are presented.

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