Combined effect of selected non-thermal technologies on Escherichia coli and Pichia fermentans inactivation in an apple and cranberry juice blend and on product shelf life.Int J Food Microbiol. 2011 Nov 15; 151(1):1-6.IJ
The combination of novel, non-thermal technologies for preservation purposes is a recent trend in food processing research. In the present study, non-thermal hurdles such as ultraviolet light (UV) (5.3 J/cm²), high intensity light pulses (HILP) (3.3 J/cm²), pulsed electric fields (PEF) (34 kV/cm, 18 Hz, 93 μs) or manothermosonication (MTS) (4bar, 43 °C, 750 W, 20 kHz) were examined. The objective was to establish the potential of these technologies, applied individually or in paired sequences, to inactivate Escherichia coli and Pichia fermentans inoculated in a fresh blend of apple and cranberry juice. The shelf-life evaluation of selected non-thermally treated samples was conducted over 35 days and compared to pasteurised samples and untreated juices. All treatments applied individually significantly reduced (1.8-6.0 log cfu/ml) microbial counts compared to the untreated sample (p<0.01). Furthermore, UV treatment produced significantly greater inactivation (p<0.05) for E. coli compared to P. fermentans. Combinations of non-thermal hurdles consisting of UV or HILP followed by either PEF or MTS resulted in comparable reductions for both microorganisms (p ≥ 0.05) to those observed in thermally pasteurised samples (approx. 6 log cfu/ml). Thermally pasteurised samples had a shelf life exceeding 35 days, while that of UV+PEF and HILP+PEF-treated samples was 14 and 21 days, respectively. These results indicate that combinations of these non-thermal technologies could successfully reduce levels of E. coli and P. fermentans in apple and cranberry juice, although optimisation is required in order to further extend shelf life.