9 November 2021 Press Release
Campden BRI to explore new applications of pulsed electric field technology
Campden BRI has begun research to identify and assess untapped practical applications of the emerging pulsed electric field
(PEF) technology. The technology has already shown commercial benefits for a range of product types leading to increased throughput, reduce energy
use and increased product yield.
The non-thermal PEF technology effectively uses short pulses of electricity that punch holes in cells. This modification to
cells and structures offers a range of processing benefits including improved drying and freezing times whilst maintaining better product quality,
reducing blanching times, improved extraction and yields and microbial pasteurisation to name a few. The scientists at Campden BRI are looking at
further applications that represent the industry’s needs. They are exploring surface inactivation on bigger pieces of food products with PEF using
lower field strengths alone and in combination with other hurdles and are very interested to speak with companies who may benefit from this
Andrew Bosman, a process engineer at Campden BRI who is leading the research, said:
“Academic research and current literature show PEF as one of the most promising emerging technologies available with a lot of
untapped potential and possible applications. In additional to the research being undertaken we are also keen to work with manufacturers who are
looking to exploit the benefits of the technology and realise applications with their products. Our extensive experience of working with new
technologies and our ability to benchmark PEF against those we have on-site will ensure businesses will be able to gain an understanding of whether
PEF truly meets their goals.
PEF rapidly disrupts either microbial or a food’s cells (for preservation, extraction or functional benefits) without
imparting significant heat. This renders it a non-thermal process and allows manufacturers to avoid, or greatly reduce, detrimental changes in the
sensory and physical properties of their food products.
The scientists at Campden BRI can use their state-of-the-art pilot plant to trial a wide range of product types with the
technology including any liquid, solid or pulp products – for example, fruit and vegetables in either their raw, cooked or juiced form.
The PEF technology can be moved to Campden BRI’s biosafety level 2 food processing hall which will allow the team to perform
trials using some of the manufacturers target pathogens that are known to cause issues in their specific products. Campden BRI then has further
testing capabilities at hand including sensory, microbiology, rheology, and chemistry which can be used to assess some of the end products
Danny Bayliss, the new technologies lead at Campden BRI who will be involved in the project, said:
“This research could open up further application areas for PEF which has been showing great commercial benefits for a range of
other products and applications. The snacking sectors is one area where the technology can help manufacturers to be more sustainable by reducing
water and oil use and the need for some processes saving total energy use. For this reason, we’re keen to encourage food businesses to explore the
potential technology benefits for their products.
The trials will begin on 1 September and run for 12-months.
Any companies wanting to get involved should call Andrew Bosman.
Photo courtesy of Food Physics Ltd
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