The effects of PEF (pulsed electric field) for Cranberry juice

Food industries are under constant pressure to develop more efficient processing technologies. Climate change and growing populations are motivating factors for minimizing food wastage, sustainable developments in preservation, nutrient security, and food safety for future sustainable food production. One such technology is PEF – pulsed electric field.

PEF: An emerging technology in Cranberry Juice Processing

Cranberry juice has long been celebrated for its health benefits and refreshing taste. But have you ever wondered how technology could further enhance its quality and nutritional value? In this post, we delve into the fascinating world of Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) technology and its remarkable impact on cranberry juice production.

Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) technology, a non-thermal processing method, is making waves in the food and beverage industry. Applied to cranberry juice production, PEF holds the potential to revolutionize the way we extract and preserve the goodness of cranberries.

One of the remarkable advantages of PEF is its ability to preserve the natural nutrients and flavors of cranberries. Unlike traditional thermal processing methods, PEF operates at lower temperatures, minimizing the loss of vitamins, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds found in cranberries. This means that your glass of cranberry juice not only tastes fantastic but also packs a powerful nutritional punch.

The Power of PEF Treatment

Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) treatment has emerged as a game-changer in cranberry processing. This innovative technique has demonstrated remarkable results, offering several benefits:

1. Increased Juice Extraction

PEF treatment has shown the potential to increase juice extraction significantly, with improvements ranging from 3.6% to 9.5%. This means that more of the valuable cranberry juice can be efficiently extracted, enhancing overall product yield.

2. Reduced Moisture Content in Pomace

One of the key byproducts of cranberry processing is pomace, which is often used in various applications. PEF treatment has been shown to reduce the moisture content of pomace by 1.8% to 5.7%, making it more suitable for further processing and utilization.

3. Accelerated Drying Times

Perhaps one of the most significant advantages of PEF treatment is its ability to reduce drying times. When compared to control samples, PEF-treated cranberries can achieve up to a 25% reduction in drying time. This not only increases production efficiency but also preserves the quality of the final product.

4. Improved Juice Quality

PEF treatment also has a positive impact on the quality of cranberry juice. The best PEF protocol, particularly in terms of drying pomace, has been shown to result in a 9.7% increase in the degree of redness of the juice. Additionally, there is a 4.5% increase in the total polyphenol index compared to control samples, enhancing the nutritional value and potential health benefits of the juice. 

In conclusion, Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) treatment has emerged as a transformative technology in cranberry processing. Its ability to increase juice extraction, reduce pomace moisture content, accelerate drying times, and enhance juice quality makes it a promising tool for cranberry growers and processors. As the cranberry industry continues to evolve, PEF treatment is set to play a crucial role in improving both efficiency and product quality.

PEF technology is paving the way for a brighter, healthier future for cranberry juice enthusiasts. With its ability to preserve nutrients, enhance flavor, and extend shelf life, PEF is set to transform the cranberry juice industry. So, the next time you enjoy a glass of cranberry juice, remember the science and innovation that goes into every sip.

collection of fresh fruit juice in bottle

Cranberries have a low density, weighing in at around 430 grams per cubic decimeter (g/dm³). This lightness poses a practical challenge in continuous production processes. Transporting these berries through treatment chambers without compromising their integrity is a key consideration in cranberry processing.

  • Initial TP Index of untreated juice: 48.9
  • PEF treatment led to a TP Index range of 51.1 to 54.9 for the extracted juice.
  • This corresponds to a significant increase, ranging from 3.6% to 12.4%, in the TP Index due to PEF treatment.
  • Total color intensity showed no significant difference between control and treated samples.
  • The notable variation was observed in the degree of redness, with PEF treatment resulting in a significant increase ranging from 4.3% to 23%.
  • Untreated samples: 66% extraction yield.
  • PEF treatment: 69% to 73% juice extraction (depends on PEF protocols).
  • PEF treatment resulted in a 3.6% to 9.5% increase in juice extraction compared to untreated samples.
  • Higher energy densities at the same E-field led to increased extraction.

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