Non-Thermal Preservation Technologies for the Food Industry
Food & Beverages Processing|February 2021
Non-thermal preservation technologies use mechanical, electromagnetic, light, or electric energy to inactivate microorganisms. Avoiding modifications generated by heat processing, they generally provide minimally processed foods and beverages with better flavor, freshness while keeping health-promoting compounds.
The expansion of those technologies in the industry is driven by customers’ demand for premium, natural (preservative-free), and safe (pathogen-free) products with extended shelf-life. It is noteworthy that High-Pressure Processing (HPP) is one of the most accepted non-thermal technologies.

The consumer demand for minimally processed foods has been rapidly increasing. Consumers look for natural and nutritious ingredients, free from additives and excessive heating. This trend is motivated by the consumer’s new consciousness since the consumer is more and more aware of the effects of excessive heat in food that often damage the ingredients and lead to sensorial and nutritional loss. Therefore, the food industry has been adapting to this challenge, and in the last years, there have been multiples advances in the development of innovative non-thermal preservation techniques.

Among the non-thermal food preservation technologies used, some apply mechanical, electromagnetic, light, or electric energy to inactivate micro-organisms. High pressure processing (HPP), membrane filtration (MF), pulsed electric field (PEF), UV light (UV), and Irradiation are the main ones used commercially at an industry level. Improvement of equipment concerning production capacity and reliability, as well as, better knowledge and understanding of the industry, have facilitated in the last years the adoption of these technologies. However, the penetration in the market of those technologies depends on the countries and the sectors.

What are the main differences between these technologies?

High Pressure Processing

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