PEF for production of plant extracts
Product examples: Herbal extracts, flavor extracts, antioxidants, natural pigments, natural food colors
Aim PEF treatment: Cell disintegration, structure modification, stress induction on plant cells for increased concentrations of functional components in extracts, microbial inactivation
Beneficial for heat sensitive compounds
Traditional thermal processes often have adverse effects on the physiological, nutritional, sensory and sometimes functional properties of raw materials. The ability of PEF to inactivate microorganisms and disrupt cellular material at low to moderate temperatures is beneficial when processing heat sensitive bioactive compounds and ingredients in biological tissue of plants, herbs, roots, grasses and leafs.
By permeabilizing cell membranes PEF enables tissue softening and enhanced mass transport, resulting in, for example, improved extraction of anthocyanins from cranberry and lycopene from tomato. Lycopene is a cartenoid pigment responsible for the red color in tomato.
Making tough produce processable
Targeted structural modification allows use of new raw materials to harvest plant extracts. Tough and inconsistent produce like sweet potato, turnip and beet root become easily processable with PEF. See also: Vegetable products.
- Enrichment of raw materials with secondary metabolites due to PEF stress induction
- Targeted and controlled structure modification enabled by permeabilizing cell membranes
- Enhanced product handling by tissue softening
- Improved extraction and refining efficiency
- Increased process capacity
- Vitamins, minerals, pigments, antioxidants and flavors are retained
- Reduced energy consumption
Pulsemaster has developed industrial scale equipment – named Conditioner – with treatment capacities up to 5,000 l/h (1320 US gal./h) for microbial inactivation and up to 50,000 kg/h (110,000 lb/h) for cell disintegration.