Pulsed Electric Field
If you are new to PEF, this page will give you a quick overview. You do not need any previous experience or background to grasp this.
Pulsed Electric Fields or PEF treatment is something that is changing, and to a great degree, revolutionizing food processes
Particularly in businesses where potatoes, meats or certain fruits/vegetables are a staple food, such as fast food franchises or perhaps pizzerias.
This, in turn, can have a highly positive impact on efficiency, quality, capacities, waste management and sustainability, not to mention the amount of water and energy businesses can save in the process.
It’s a powerful and exciting new technology which can vastly improve raw material processing to maintain consistently higher product quality.
However, these benefits are not just limited to, say, French fries or chips. Any kind of raw food processing that requires freezing, drying, frying, or where mobility of water is required, can greatly benefit.
When potatoes, for instance, are treated through conventional means, a lot of the mineral and starchy content is lost.
Not only that, but it can potentially mean more energy and water needed for processing the final product, such as chips, for instance.
With PEF, on the other hand, much of the mineral and water content in potatoes is retained, not only helping businesses increase yield, but also save lots of water and energy in doing so.
The benefits of PEF carry over to not just plant-based foods like potatoes but also all varieties of meats, fruits and vegetables.
PEF Systems by SureView Instruments
– A Competitive Advantage
We’re dedicated to the manufacturing and distribution of PEF systems for the food industry. Even though PEF technology is not exactly new and actually dates back to the 1950s – today, we’ve perfected the technology to help businesses in the food industry truly improve their product quality and underlying processes in remarkable ways.
In order to explore PEF’s potential and fully realize its key benefits in terms of food processing, it pays to understand how PEF works:
Let’s take an untreated potato. It is made up of cells as all foods are, and each cell is surrounded by a membrane. Inside the cell are very valuable components which give specific foods their nutritional value. In case of a potato: sugars, water, starch and other solids.
With the presence of electrically charged ions inside and outside the cell, and the membrane acting as a semi-permeable barrier, each cell has a natural potential – referred to as the trans-membrane potential.
Now, if the cell is exposed to an electric field through PEF treatment, sharp pulses of high electrical energy are applied to a food product, which induces the movement of ions along the electrical field.
As the membrane is only partially permeable from the ions, the latter accumulate at the membrane level only. This leads to an increase in their natural potential and induces an electrical compression. At a specific value, the membrane cannot withstand this pressure or compression and a pore is formed.
Let’s take example of potato chips.
Now, let’s understand the benefits of PEF treated potato chips at every stage.
There is no significant advantage of peeling for the PEF treatment. If you don’t peel the product, the results of PEF treatment are same as peeled product.
More flexible and soft products: –
Due to electroporation, water / other soluble solids leaked out of the pores whereas other solids like starch does not leak. As a result, the product become very soft and flexible. So the cutting force is very less which results in less energy consumption.
Reduced water consumption: –
In PEF treated vegetables, less starch and other solids are washed out than untreated vegetables. So, water consumption is less. In potato chips, there are less breakages during washing, frying and flavoring and so more whole chips to sell.
In PEF treated products, the yield increases by 1.5% and doubles are reduced by average of 8%. Faster frying time, therefore the oil and heat consumption are less. The large amount of vegetables can be fried. Also due to less breakages, quantity of whole chips is increased which results in increased production capacity and increased sales.
Flavoring sticks better to the product
PEF products are brighter in color and crispier.
PEF products dry out quickly.
PEF products have significantly increased shelf life.
PEF products are preserved at higher nutritional value, fresh, taste.
No enzymes needed
Retention of healthy ingredients
Bacterial spore control
Exceptional shape stability of freeze-dried products
In Yogurts, higher probiotic value is maintained.
The principle behind pore formation via PEF is called electroporation. As a result, inner compounds inside the food product like water or soluble solids can leak out of the newly opened pores. However, certain compounds like starch cannot exit through these pores and remain intact within each cell. But due to the water leakage, the overall pressure in each cell reduces, resulting in a softer structure of the raw food material – which is much easier to process. From a mass-scale production perspective, this can mean massive savings in production, energy and water costs for food processing of raw materials, and increasing yields by ten-folds as a result.
Learn more about how our PEF systems can revolutionize food processing and production for your business. Book a free consultation.
PEF treatments are beneficial in other solid
products mentioned below.
In PEF treated products, the yield increases by 1.5% and doubles are reduced by average of 8%.
Faster frying time, therefore the oil and heat consumption are less. The large amount of vegetables can be fried. Also due to less breakages, quantity of whole chips is increased which results in increased production capacity and increased sales.
By doing cell disintegration and structure modification through PEF treatment, extraction process and refining efficiency is improved at a greater scale. By achieving microbial inactivation through PEF treatment, shelf life is increased.
Moisture transport & removal, are improved by the electroporation of fish tissue, resulting in enhanced drying, brining, and marinating of fish. PEF treatments can be applied to Fresh fish fillets, fresh fish, dried fish, salted fish and marinated fish. Due to Microbial inactivation (inactivation of parasites such as nematodes, trematodes, cestodes), shelf life is increased.
A very mild PEF treatment can induce formation of phytochemicals (secondary metabolites) in biological tissues. As a result, the concentration of phytochemicals in plant materials such as soy and cocoa beans is increased. For example, PEF can be applied on soybeans soaked in water. The treatment also enhances extraction processes, such as the extraction of soybeans and cocoa nibs.
Due to cell integration and stress induction, the vegetable tissues become soft Also, the extraction efficiency and drying enhancements, peeling improvements are achieved through PEF. Due to Microbial inactivation, the shelf life is increased for the vegetable products
PEF treatment of microalgae enable extracting ingredients and oil which are used mainly in energy applications. By microbial inactivation, contaminants such as protozoa is controlled in microalgae cultures.
Due to cell disintegration and microbial inactivation, drying, brining and marination process is improved.
The ability of PEF to inactivate microorganisms and disrupt cellular material at certain temperatures is beneficial when processing heat sensitive bioactive compounds and ingredients in biological tissue of plants, herbs, roots, grasses and leaves.
The extraction process of certain pigments from plants is simplified and faster by permeabilizing cell membranes & tissue softening.
for example, lycopene from tomato, betacyanins (red) and betaxanthins (yellow) from Beetroots, etc.
Let’s take a look of PEF treatments for liquid products
By doing the microbial inactivation and extraction at moderate temperature, the shelf life of Liquid products is increased and quality is improved compared to the standard high temperature thermal treatment.
Following are some of the examples of the liquid products.
Fruit and vegetable puree
Soups, sauces, dressings and marinades
Cosmetics Products Like Rose Oil, Essential Oils
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