UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Ohmic Heating in the Food Industry: Developments in Concepts and Applications during 2013–2020 Alkanan, Zina T.; Altemimi, Ammar B.; Al-Hilphy, Asaad R. S.; Watson, Dennis G.; Pratap-Singh, Anubhav


Various technologies have been evaluated as alternatives to conventional heating for pasteurization and sterilization of foods. Ohmic heating of food products, achieved by passage of an alternating current through food, has emerged as a potential technology with comparable performance and several advantages. Ohmic heating works faster and consumes less energy compared to conventional heating. Key characteristics of ohmic heating are homogeneity of heating, shorter heating time, low energy consumption, and improved product quality and food safety. Energy consumption of ohmic heating was measured as 4.6–5.3 times lower than traditional heating. Many food processes, including pasteurization, roasting, boiling, cooking, drying, sterilization, peeling, microbiological inhibition, and recovery of polyphenol and antioxidants have employed ohmic heating. Herein, we review the theoretical basis for ohmic treatment of food and the interaction of ohmic technology with food ingredients. Recent work in the last seven years on the effect of ohmic heating on food sensory properties, bioactive compound levels, microbial inactivation, and physico-chemical changes are summarized as a convenient reference for researchers and food scientists and engineers.

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