The cost of pulsed electric field (PEF) pasteurization of orange juice was estimated. The cost analysis was based on processing conditions that met the US FDA (5 log reduction) requirement for fruit juice pasteurization and that achieved a sufficient microbial shelf-life. PEF-treated samples processed at 30 kV/cm and 60 C had reductions in Escherichia coli, Salmonella Typhimurium and Lactobacillus spp. of greater than 5 log and had a microbial shelf-life of 2 months at 4 C. Total pasteurization cost was estimated to be 3.7 ¢/L. Of this, capital costs accounted for 54% (2.0 ¢/L), labor costs accounted for 35% (1.3 ¢/L) and utility charges, mainly electricity, accounted for 11% (0.4 ¢/L). The total PEF cost was 147% (2.2 ¢/L) more than that of conventional thermal processing (1.5 ¢/L). A deeper knowledge of the processing costs of PEF technology will afford companies a better understanding of the benefits and limitations of nonthermal processing. Industrial relevance: Pasteurization of orange juice by pulsed electric fields (PEF) results in a higher quality product compared to traditional thermal pasteurization. However, industry has not embraced this new technology and the main reason for this may be the lack of a comprehensive cost analysis. A large-scale commercial PEF system was designed and the total pasteurization cost was estimated to be 3.7 ¢/L. The total PEF cost was 2.2 ¢/L more than that of traditional thermal processing. A thorough knowledge of the processing costs will provide companies with a better understanding of the pros and cons of PEF pasteurization.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors are grateful to the Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (FECYT) from Ministerio de Innovación y Ciencia from Spain for providing the postdoctoral grant to Dr. Fernando Sampedro. The authors acknowledge Mr. Joseph Sites and Dr. Tony Jin for their helpful reviews of the final draft. The authors also want to acknowledge Ms. Rebecca Bailey and Dr. Joshua Gurtler for providing and technically assisting with the bacterial strains, Mr. Andrew Bigley for providing technical assistance with the PEF unit and Mr. Mike Kempkes for his valuable data.
- Cost analysis
- Orange juice
- Pulsed electric fields