Product & process improvement
Cell disintegration of solids
PEF for product & process improvement
The applied pulsed electric field leads to cell disintegration in plant and animal tissue, with specific advantages for product quality and food production processes. PEF processing enhances mass transport processes during extraction, pressing, drying, brining and marinating processes.
In potato processing PEF systems have important advantages over traditional preheaters. PEF treatment improves cut quality and significantly reduces French fry breakage. Water and energy consumption are reduced; blanching, drying and prefrying times are shortened. The leaching of sugars improves. The treatment can also reduce frying oil absorption and fat content up to 50%.
Enhanced mass transport
PEF technology speeds up drying of food products, allowing a reduction of processing times and energy consumption. This can be applied to fruits, vegetables, potatoes and meat.
Extraction and pressing
Enhancement of extraction processes is also an advantage of electroporation. Extraction and pressing yields are increased, for example for fruit juice, vegetable oil and algae oil and protein.
PEF technology speeds up freezing of food products, allowing a reduction of processing times and energy consumption. The cell disintegration increases the freezing rates. Cellular water flows easily out of the cell and ice nucleation outside the cell starts. As smaller ice molecules are formed, product quality of frozen food is improved.
Peeling and cutting
Furthermore, PEF improves peeling, cutting and cut quality of fruits, vegetables and potatoes.
Formation of secondary metabolites
A very mild PEF treatment can induce formation of secondary metabolites (bioactive components) in biological tissues such as vegetables and legumes. As a result, we measure enriched secondary metabolites due to PEF stress induction on plant cells and yield increase. Examples of secondairy metabolites are polyphenols and isoflavones.
For meat processors electroporation improves brining, marinating and drying steps. Tumbling times for cooked ham production are reduced. In dry sausage production PEF technology enhances the drying process, reducing the required drying time.
Treatment of plant or animal tissue aiming on cell disintegration has practically no size limitations. It can be applied to whole fruits, vegetables and potato tubers, fruit or vegetable pieces and fruit or vegetable mashes, prior to separation processes. However, the maximum size of the plant or animal tissue must be smaller than the gap of the treatment chamber.
For cell disintegration applications a typical processing line consists of a treatment tank unit and a pulse generator unit. The Pulsemaster Conditioner is a complete cell disintegration system.