Pulsed Electric Field treatment has been proposed as a potential method for improving the efficiency of beer production by reducing the time and energy required for pasteurization, the process of heating beer to a high temperature to kill off unwanted microorganisms.
PEF treatment works by creating an electric field across a fluid, such as beer, that is strong enough to cause the cells of microorganisms and enzymes to become permeable. This allows substances to enter or exit the cells, leading to cell death.
Beer, one of the most consumed beverages in the world, is brewed from the barley or wheat malt, water, hops, and yeast, via the fermentation of the wort (starch sugars) thereof. During the brewing process, the CEPT can be applied upstream to enhance fermentation through the release of more sugars, increase of Free Amino Nitrogen (FAN), and other nutrients from the grains and extract the alpha-acids from the hops and downstream wherein fermentative yeast, as well as spoilage bacteria and yeast, can be neutralized without modifying the quality of the product and its original taste.