Pulsed Electric Field processing applies very short electrical pulses to the food. The main advantages of PEF over higher temperature processes are that it:
- maintains the quality, the texture and structure of the product
- retains the nutritional value making healthier food products
- pasturises foods at low temperatures
Overall the products are closer to their as-harvested state.
The downsides of PEF technology were also addressed, such as the need for water to be present for the process to work, therefore making it unsuitable for dry goods, and that the composition of the food products can also affect the efficacy of PEF.
The main outcome of the EU-project FieldFOOD was the development of low-cost, portable PEF technology equipment that can be incorporated into existing food processing lines, making the technology more accessible for small and medium enterprises, giving them a competitive edge by providing healthier products that are produced in a more sustainable way.
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