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Pulsed electric field to better process fruit and veg
European researchers have been giving fruit and vegetables electric pulses to improve their condition for processing and maintain nutritional value. In Cahir, South West Ireland, Cornelius Traas' family-run farm produces 600 tons of potatoes annually which are processed into juice, cider and vinegar. They are testing treating the fruit with a pulsed electric field as part of the European research project, FieldFood. The electric pulses perforate the fruit cells and simplify extraction, it could also kill microbes, prolonging fresh juice conservation.
Researchers want to prove the commercial advantages of the technology within the agri food industry. Elisa Luengo, Food Processing Researcher, explains that the total energy needs are very low, "treating one kilo of tomatoes requires less energy than when heating a litre of water for it's temperature to increase by one degree".
Treated tomatoes are easier to peel and no longer need to be plunged in boiling water, saving energy. The technique also preserves fruit and vegetable nutritional values. Scientists believe that this method is particularly well suited to small and medium companies specialised in food processing.
Publication date: 2/14/2018
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