Potential applications of pulsed electric field in cheesemaking


Gentès, M.-C., Caron, A., Champagne, C.P. (2022). Potential applications of pulsed electric field in cheesemaking. International Journal of Dairy Technology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1471-0307.12854

Plain language summary

Consumers are increasingly showing interest in food preservation techniques that do not require heat treatment due their potential to allow better nutrient preservation while ensuring food safety. One of these techniques, pulsed electric fields, involves passing an electric field through the food. One of the consequences of this treatment is the creation of holes (called electroporation) in the membrane of the microorganisms present in the food. Depending on the intensity of the electric field, this damage can be permanent (death of the microorganism) or reversible (ability of the microorganism to repair itself and survive). This work examines how pulsed electric fields could be used in the milk processing sector and more specifically on the entire value chain of cheesemaking, from the ingredients required for production (milk, starter) to the co-product management. This review of the literature has made it possible to demonstrate new emerging research areas related to the safety of dairy products as well as by improving their quality. The selective decontamination of co-products as well as the bioaccumulation of bioactive compounds in the membrane are examples of the potential use of pulsed electric fields. With a view of sustainable development and food waste reduction, these applications could allow the development of new functional ingredients and valorization of co-products. The study also demonstrated that most of the researches were made at the laboratory level and that proof of concept with pilot equipment simulating industrial conditions was limited. Several challenges therefore persist with regard to the commercialization of this technology, such as regulations and costs. The standardization of laboratory protocols with more comparable data could allow a better understanding of the potential of this technology. The breadth of this research has identified key areas where pulsed electric fields could find potential application in terms of safety and quality in the cheese manufacturing context.


© 2022 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada. International Journal of Dairy Technology © 2022 Society of Dairy Technology. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.Consumers show interest in preservation technologies that are not based on heating. This review examines the use of nonthermal technologies such as pulsed electric field (PEF) in cheesemaking. The effects of PEF on the destruction of pathogens in cheesemaking milk, as well as in brines, are examined. Additionally, PEF affects milk proteins and lipids, as well as starters, with potential consequences for the sensory properties of cheese. The challenges of scaling up the PEF in cheesemaking are addressed. In the aim of promoting durable agri-food systems, applications of PEF in processes of cheese whey valorisation are also discussed.

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