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Microbial decontamination by novel technologies - Analytic approaches and mechanistic insights

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Consumers nowadays increasingly expect food to be safe, of a high quality, minimally processed, additive-free and high in nutritional value. To meet this goal various different preservation methods are in use worldwide. Many of these methods for food pasteurization or sterilization rely on the inactivation of ...

Consumers nowadays increasingly expect food to be safe, of a high quality, minimally processed, additive-free and high in nutritional value. To meet this goal various different preservation methods are in use worldwide. Many of these methods for food pasteurization or sterilization rely on the inactivation of microorganisms, in which microbial safety is usually only made possible by increasing the process intensity, with negative effects on the nutritional value and sensory properties. To overcome these unwanted side effects, different novel inactivation technologies are under way from lab-scale to a pilot or industrial scale level. One of the major recent technological innovations in this regard is the application of high pressure for a cold pasteurization (HPP). However, other promising technologies like pulsed electric fields (PEF), ultra high pressure homogenization (UHPH), micro filtration, pulsed light or cold plasma are in different stages of development and some of them will be applied soon for food preservation. Though these technologies are scaled up, most of the published results are quite equipment or product specific and consequently case by case studies are needed to establish such a process in an industrial scale.
To overcome these limitations, the aim of this Research Topic of Frontiers in Microbiology is to publish state of the art research about the underlying inactivation mechanisms of microorganisms treated with novel decontamination technologies. A comprehensive overview about these mechanisms as well as innovative analytic approaches to assess the physiological state of the microorganisms or the interaction of the respective technology with the treated food, might enable a systematic approach to optimize these technologies for a successful implementation and validation in the food industry of the future.


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