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Protoplasts serve as a model system to visualize the effects of PEF-induced (4kV/cm) membrane disruption and cell contraction.Credit: Afraz, MT, et al.

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Protoplasts serve as a model system to visualize the effects of PEF-induced (4kV/cm) membrane disruption and cell contraction.Credit: Afraz, MT, et al.

Consumers are becoming increasingly health conscious and are looking for products with minimal additives and preservatives. Modern consumers understand the connection between the intake of bioactive compounds from fruits and vegetables and the associated health benefits. Therefore, the demand for juices that are minimally processed, have no added sugar, and are made from fresh fruits and vegetables is steadily increasing.

Studies have shown that consuming such juices has many health benefits, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases, improving immune function, and promoting digestion. Additionally, antioxidant-rich juices, such as those made from berries and dark fruits, have been linked to reducing inflammation and improving cardiovascular health.

In a new review published in a magazine food physics, The authors investigated the science behind physical field techniques to enhance quality attributes and improve juice extraction.

“Pulsed electric fields (PEF) stand out as an excellent option for fruit juice extraction due to their high efficiency in improved juice yield, better preservation of sensory properties and nutrients, reduced energy consumption, good scalability and adaptability. ” explains corresponding author Zhong Han. , a professor in the School of Food Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology (SCUT).

“PEF is a non-thermal process, meaning it does not add heat.”

In particular, PEF is beneficial in preserving heat-sensitive nutrients such as vitamins and antioxidants and preserving the natural taste and aroma profile of fruit and vegetable juices. During PEF processing, an external electric field moves ions into and out of the cell and accumulates in the membrane.

Oppositely charged ions on either side of the membrane compress the membrane under attractive forces, making it thinner. When the electric field becomes strong enough, pores form, allowing beneficial compounds to escape into the juice.

According to SCUT PhD student and lead author Muhammad Talha Afraz, PEF technology improves not only quantitative but also qualitative parameters.

“Application of PEF suppresses spoilage microorganisms and enzymatic action in the juice after extraction, thereby increasing shelf life without compromising quality,” explains Afraz.

The authors hope that future research efforts will prioritize the exploration of synergies achieved by combining physical field techniques with other methods.

For more information:
Muhammad Talha Afraz et al., The Science Behind Physical Field Techniques to Improve Juice Extraction with Enhanced Quality Characteristics; food physics (2024). DOI: 10.1016/j.foodp.2024.100008

Provided by: KeAi Communications Co., Ltd.

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