PNG images: Juice

Juice is a beverage made from the extraction or pressing out of the natural liquid contained in fruit and vegetables. It can also refer to liquids that are flavoured with these or other biological food sources such as meat and seafood (e.g., clam juice). Juice is commonly consumed as a beverage or used as an ingredient or flavouring in foods or other beverages, such as smoothies. Juice emerged as a popular beverage choice after the development of pasteurisation methods allowed for its preservation without using fermentation (the approach used with wine production). The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) estimated the total world production of citrus fruit juices to be 12,840,318 tonnes in 2012. The largest fruit juice consumers are New Zealand (nearly a cup, or 8 ounces, each day) and Colombia (more than three quarters of a cup each day). Fruit juice consumption on average increased with country income level. To the American food industry, fruit juice is more profitable than only fruit.

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High intensity pulsed electric fields are being used as an alternative to heat pasteurisation in fruit juices. Heat treatments sometimes fail to make a quality, microbiological stable products. However, it was found that processing with high intensity pulsed electric fields (PEF) can be applied to fruit juices to provide a shelf stable and safe product. In addition, it was found that pulsed electric fields provide a fresh-like and high nutrition value product. Pulsed electric field processing is a type of nonthermal method for food preservation.

Pulsed electric fields use short pulses of electricity to inactivate microbes. In addition, the use of PEF results in minimal detrimental effects on the quality of the food. Pulse electric fields kill microorganisms and provide better maintenance of the original colour, flavour, and nutritional value of the food as compared to heat treatments. This method of preservation works by placing two electrodes between liquid juices then applying high voltage pulses for microseconds to milliseconds. The high voltage pulses are of intensity in the range of 10 to 80 kV/cm.

Processing time of the juice is calculated by multiplying the number of pulses with the effective pulse duration. The high voltage of the pulses produce an electric field that results in microbial inactivation that may be present in the juice. The PEF temperatures are below that of the temperatures used in thermal processing. After the high voltage treatment, the juice is aseptically packaged and refrigerated. Juice is also able to transfer electricity due to the presence of several ions from the processing. When the electric field is applied to the juice, electric currents are then able to flow into the liquid juice and transferred around due to the charged molecules in the juice. Therefore, pulsed electric fields are able to inactivate microorganisms, extend shelf life, and reduce enzymatic activity of the juice while maintaining similar quality as the original, fresh pressed juice.

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