Application of Pulsed Electric Fields for the Modulation of Chemico-Physical Properties of Different Foods

Genovese, Jessica (2022) Application of Pulsed Electric Fields for the Modulation of Chemico-Physical Properties of Different Foods, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie agrarie, ambientali e alimentari, 34 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10137.
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Pulsed electric field technology is one of the most attractive new non-thermal technology thanks to its lower energy consumption and short treatment times. It consists of an electric treatment of short duration (from several ns to several ms) with electric field strengths from 0.1 to 80 kV/cm that lead to an increase in the permeability of the cell membrane. In this PhD thesis, PEF technology was investigated with the aim of improving mass transfer in plant and animal foods by using it alone or in combination with conventional food processes. Different methods of evaluating electroporation for optimizing PEF processing parameters were investigated. In this respect, the degree of membrane permeabilization in plant and animal food matrices was investigated using electrical impedance spectroscopy, current-voltage measurements and magnetic resonance imaging. The research findings provided useful insights and calls for critical choice of electroporation assessment methods for the selection of adequate PEF treatment conditions. It was outlined that the effect of electroporation is highly dependent on the properties of the food matrix and secondary phenomena occurring in the cell structure undergoing PEF treatment, such as the water re-distribution in the tissue due to the exchange of fluids between intra- and extra-cellular environments. This study also confirmed the great potential of combining PEF technology with conventional food processes, with the main purpose of improving the quality of the food material and accelerating the kinetics of mass transfers, in both plant and animal tissues. Consistent reduction of acrylamide formation in potato crisps was achieved by monitoring key PEF process parameters and subsequent manufacturing steps. Kiwifruit snacks showed a significant reduction in drying kinetics when pre-treated with PEF, while their quality was well maintained. Finally, the research results showed that PEF pre-treatments can shorten the brine process as well as the rehydration kinetics of fish muscles.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Genovese, Jessica
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Pulsed Electric Fields; electroporation assessment methods; mass Transfer; plant- and animal-based food processes
Data di discussione
1 Aprile 2022

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