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Development of Continuous Intense Pulsed Light Technology for Non-Thermal Pasteurization of Powdered Foods

Ruan, Roger
University of Minnesota
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The goal of the project is to develop an intense pulsed light (IPL)-based technology for non-thermal pasteurization of powdered foods. The supporting objectives are: (1) to develop and construct an experimental continuous IPL apparatus; (2) to understand the contributions of variables to the performance of IPL process in terms of bactericidal effects and shelf-life stability; (3) to evaluate the effects of IPL process on nutritional values and sensory quality; (4) to optimize the process and develop a prototype system for field demonstration; (5) to introduce the technology and educate suitable industrial users about the advantages of using IPL to ensure safer dry foods through extension efforts.
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This CAP project, integrating research with extension activities, addresses the program area "Enhancing Food Safety through Improved Processing Technologies" (A4131) by developing an intense pulsed light (IPL) based technology for non-thermal pasteurization of powdered foods. Powdered foods are widely used as ingredients in manufacturing processed foods or consumed directly by humans and animals for their energy and nutrient contents. Inappropriate and insufficient decontamination have led to numerous outbreaks of foodborne diseases in recent years. Different physical and chemical processes have been used to decontaminate powdered foods. However, these processes have various defects, making their application ineffective and sometime impractical. IPL is an emerging technology for overcoming these defects. In this project, a continuous IPL process will be investigated for its germicidal effectiveness and also its impacts on physical, chemical, nutritional, and sensory properties of representative powdered foods. A prototype IPL system will be designed and constructed through the consultations with industry partners and stakeholders. The research activities on the system will cover the process optimization in lab and the field trials with industry partners, while the extension activities will include the workshop to demonstrate its usage to the stakeholders. Overall, we expect this technology platform will cost-effectively improve the safety of powdered foods and reduce the occurrence of foodborne diseases associated with the consumption of powdered food. These benefits of IPL technology could be translated into enhanced the competitiveness of US food industry, increased utilization of US agricultural products, and higher health and living standards of the consumers.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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Bacterial Pathogens
Natural Toxins