Juicier and softer pineapple slices – the effects of combining PEF and VI technologies

OptiCept has developed a new application area for the company’s technology platforms. The method combines Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) with a vacuum injection for softening fruit or vegetable products (pieces of fruit or vegetables). This new technology can naturally improve the organoleptic properties of products to be even more appreciated by consumers. Success with tests on pineapple chunks has prompted the filing of the patent application.

Understanding PEF Technology

Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) technology is a non-thermal food processing and preservation technique that uses short bursts of repeated electrical pulses. It has a direct and positive impact on the quality and freshness of various food products. Here is how PEF works and the consumer benefits it offers:

Preservation of Nutritional Value

One of the primary advantages of PEF technology is its ability to maintain the nutritional value of food. Traditional food processing methods often involve high temperatures that can lead to the degradation of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.

PEF, on the other hand, is a non-thermal process that helps preserve these vital components. This means that consumers can enjoy food products that are not only safer but also more nutritious, promoting better health and overall well-being.

By applying high-intensity electrical pulses, the cell membrane is perforated or destroyed and more contents can be extracted from each cell and/or results in the inactivation of microorganisms.

Additionally, PEF processing aligns with the trend toward clean-label products. As it is a non-thermal technology with minimal impact on the sensory attributes of foods, PEF-treated products can appeal to consumers seeking minimally processed, natural, and healthy options.

Retention of Natural Color and Flavor

Consumers are naturally drawn to foods that look and taste as if they were freshly prepared. Traditional processing methods can cause changes in the color, flavor, and texture of food, making them less appealing or appetizing.

PEF technology is gentle and non-invasive, which helps maintain the natural colors and flavors of food products. Whether it’s the vibrant hue of fruits and vegetables or the rich taste of beverages, consumers can trust that PEF-processed foods deliver a sensory experience that closely resembles their fresh counterparts. Examples of this are zumo or dried products.

Extended Shelf Life

PEF technology plays a crucial role in extending the shelf life of food products. By inactivating enzymes and microorganisms responsible for food spoilage and deterioration, PEF ensures that consumers have access to fresher products for more extended periods. This not only minimizes food waste but also makes it more convenient for consumers to enjoy their favorite foods without the pressure of immediate consumption. The extended shelf life of PEF-processed foods means that consumers can maintain a well-stocked pantry with fewer concerns about product expiration.

Reduced Need for Chemical Additives

Consumers are increasingly wary of the presence of chemical additives and preservatives in their food. PEF technology offers a safer and more natural alternative by significantly reducing the need for these additives. This aligns with the clean-label food movement, where consumers are looking for products with simpler, more recognizable ingredient lists. Evidently, with PEF-processed foods, consumers can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing they are consuming products with cleaner labels and fewer or no artificial additives.

Challenges and the Future of Consumer Benefits with PEF

PEF technology offers a plethora of benefits for consumers. As consumer preferences continue to shift towards healthier, higher quality, and more natural food options, PEF is expected to play an increasingly pivotal role in enhancing the quality and freshness of the food products we enjoy.

As consumer demands evolve, PEF technology is poised to become a central player in meeting these expectations for safer, healthier, and flavourful food options.

Ultimately, satisfied customers contribute to a company’s profitability. Loyal customers are more likely to make repeat purchases, and positive word-of-mouth recommendations can attract new customers, both of which contribute to the overall financial success of a business.

In summary, prioritizing the needs and satisfaction of end consumers is a fundamental aspect of business success. It not only enhances customer relationships but also positively impacts various aspects of a business, from brand reputation to financial performance.

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