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Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies
Vol. 64, 2020

Moderate electric fields and ohmic heating as promising fermentation tools

Mohsen Gavahiana, Brijesh K.Tiwarib

Department of Food Science, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung 912, Taiwan, ROC


Fermentation is an important bioprocess in food production and its improvements can bring profits to the food industry. Therefore, researchers are exploring the feasibility of applying emerging processing technologies such as moderate electric field (MEF) and ohmic heating to improve this bioprocess. This study demonstrated the current status, potential benefits, mechanisms, and limitations of innovative MEF- and ohmic-assisted fermentation. Research showed that these techniques can positively affect Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, and Saccharomyces fermentations that are involved in the production of bakery (e.g., leavened breads), dairy (e.g., yogurt), and alcoholic products. Also, volumetric ohmic heating can accelerate fermentation by providing optimum fermentation temperatures quickly. MEF-induced stress-response conditions can affect microbial metabolism and fermentation products. Besides, electrical fields may affect the fermentation process by altering the substrate such as releasing its micronutrients. These approaches can be considered prospective industrial fermentation tools. Further economic studies and in-depth research on their effects on fermentation by-products are expected in the near future.

Keywords : Ohmic heating, Moderate electric field, Fermentation, Electroporation, Emerging technologies, Food industry

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