Minimal Processing Technology
Published 2011 · Environmental Science
The growing demand for safer food of ever higher quality has led to the investigation of a range of techniques which may together be labelled as minimum processing technologies. The principles of some of these techniques are outlined in this chapter. A number of the methods employ dielectrical heating either by applying an electrical current directly to the food as in ohmic heating or by exposing the food to electromagnetic radiation such as microwaves and radio frequencies. Of these, microwave heating is by far the most successful and widely used and was treated separately in Chapter 7. Other, non-thermal, methods such as the use of very high pressures, ionising radiation or high-energy sound waves are either being used increasingly in commercial production or under active development. It is probable that the non-thermal methods of food preservation are best used in combination with conventional convective heating so as to reduce the need to expose food to high temperatures for long periods. Therefore they offer the potential of delivering processed food with better retention of nutrients and with improved sensory properties.