Minimal processing technologies in the food industries

Edited by T Ohlsson and N Bengtsson 
Woodhead  July 2002  

Hardback  304 pages  ISBN 9781855735477      £150.00
Consumers increasingly demand foods which retain their natural flavour, colour and texture and contain fewer additives such as preservatives. In response to these needs, one of the most important recent developments in the food industry has been the development of minimal processing technologies designed to limit the impact of processing on nutritional and sensory quality and to preserve food without the use of synthetic additives. This important collection reviews the range of minimal processing techniques, their advantages and disadvantages, and their use in food production.

Traditional thermal processing techniques can be both beneficial to foods in such areas as preservation and flavour formation but detrimental in damaging other sensory and nutritional properties. Minimising undesirable changes can be achieved in a number of ways, whether through more effective process control, the use of High Temperature Short Time (HTST) techniques such as aseptic processing, or newer thermal technologies such as volume heating methods. The book discusses these various approaches and reviews the range of thermal technologies such as infrared heating, dielectric methods such as the use of microwaves, and ohmic heating. This discussion is complemented by the following chapter which discusses alternatives to thermal processing, ranging from irradiation to high pressure processing and the use of pulsed electric fields.

The safety and effectiveness of minimal processing depends on the use of novel preservation technologies, most notably in packaging. The book therefore includes reviews of modified atmosphere packaging and the range of active and smart packaging techniques, as well as looking at the use of natural preservatives. The issue of the safety of minimally processed foods is also considered in two chapters looking at the use of hurdle technology and establishing safety criteria for minimally-processed foods. The collection concludes with case-studies on minimal processing in practice, looking first at fresh produce and then at processed foods, and a final chapter on the future of minimal processing.

Minimal processing technologies in the food industry will be widely welcomed as a comprehensive and authoritative reference on one of the most important areas in food processing.

Minimal processing of foods with thermal methods
Minimal processing of foods with non-thermal methods
Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP)
Active and smart packaging
Natural food preservatives
The hurdle concept
Safety criteria for minimally processed foods
Minimal processing in practice: fresh fruit and vegetables
Minimal processing in practice: seafood
Minimal processing in the future: integration across the supply chain
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