Current applications and new opportunities for the use of pulsed electric fields in food science and industry

Francisco J. Barba*, Oleksii Parniakov, Sofia A. Pereira, Artur Wiktor, Nabil Grimi, Nadia Boussetta, Jorge A. Saraiva, Javier Raso, Olga Martin-Belloso, Dorota Witrowa-Rajchert, Nikolai Lebovka, Eugène Vorobiev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

480 Citations (Scopus)


Several studies have demonstrated the feasibility of pulsed electric fields (PEF) for different applications in food industry. PEF technology is therefore a valuable tool that can improve functionality, extractability, and recovery of nutritionally valuable compounds as well as the bioavailability of micronutrients and components in a diverse variety of foods. Additionally, other studies have shown the potential of PEF treatments to reduce food processing contaminants and pesticides. This opens the doors to new PEF applications in the food industry. This review focused on some of the most renowned traditional and emerging PEF applications for improvement of osmotic dehydration, extraction by solvent diffusion, or by pressing, as well as drying and freezing processes. The impact of PEF on different products of biological origin including plant tissues, suspension of cells, by-products and wastes will be analyzed in detail. In addition, recent examples of PEF-assisted biorefinery application will be presented, and finally, the main aspects of PEF-assisted cold pasteurization of liquid foods will also be described.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-798
Number of pages26
JournalFood research international
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioactive compounds extraction
  • Cold pasteurization
  • Drying
  • Freezing
  • Pulsed electric fields
  • Reduction food contaminants


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