Environmental footprint of emerging technologies, regulatory and legislative issues

Sónia M. Castro*, Rita S. Inácio, Elisabete M. C. Alexandre, Liliana G. Fidalgo, Sofia Pereira, Patrícia Quaresma, Paulo Freitas, Paula Teixeira, Manuela Pintado, Ana M. Gomes, Carole Tonello, Jorge A. Saraiva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Consumers are more demanding, better educated in terms of food quality and nutritional aspects, and forcing producers along with regulatory agencies to search for alternative processing technologies. Some of these technologies like high pressure, pulsed electrical fields, supercritical CO2, ultrasound, ozone, or plasma treatment are at industrially use, pilot scale, or even at the edge of application, but the most successful ones at the moment, with already a wide variety of commercial products, are high hydrostatic pressure and pulsed electrical fields. These technologies offer better products, both “natural” in terms of fresh-like flavor and ingredients and safe with extended shelf-life. This tendency leads to the need for a global regulation system that ensures quality of food regardless of country of origin and, at the same time, without compromising safety. In addition to this system, there should be governing bodies that regulate and monitor the enforcement of these food-processing regulations, to avoid regulations that often only apply to countries belonging to specific organizations. Together with food legislation concerns, sustainable food manufacturing and related efficient energy use have also became priorities of the food industries. While conventional preservation processes (e.g., canning, freezing, drying) mainly use thermal energy, more complex processes use mechanical, electromagnetic, electrical, and other forms of energy, which can reduce the energy consumption. Indeed the efficient use of resources in food industry is a critical element for the future generations for sustainable food processing, but the impact of energy requirements in emerging technologies has not been a matter of intense discussion. The objective of this chapter is to provide a concise overview of environmental footprint of emerging technologies, namely high-pressure processing and pulsed electric fields, and their current related food legislation status in various countries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInnovative technologies for food preservation
Subtitle of host publicationinactivation of spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms
EditorsFrancisco J. Barba, Anderson S. Sant'Ana, Vibeke Orlien, Mohamed Koubaa
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780128110324
ISBN (Print)9780128110317
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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