Metal release in a stainless steel pulsed electric field (PEF) system Part II. The treatment of orange juice; related to legislation and treatment chamber lifetime

B. Roodenburg, J. Morren, H.E. Berg, S.W.H. de Haan

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In the last decennia, there is an increasing interest in pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment. The product is often treated in a continuous flow treatment chamber with stainless steel electrodes and exposed to short pulsed electric fields, typically 2–4 kV·mm− 1 during 1–10 μs. Due to direct contact of the treatment chamber electrodes with the food product, the main elements of these stainless steel electrodes are able to dissolve in the treated product. The magnitude of the material transfer depends on many factors such as current magnitude, pulse duration, pulse shape, and product constitution. In this contribution, the effect of metal dissolving during a monopolar pulse shape, generated by a pulse forming network, is investigated. Experiments are carried out with single and repeated PEF treatments in orange juice. These experiments showed that, due to PEF treatment, dissolved metals are present in the juice. The four main elements of stainless steel, iron, chromium, nickel, and manganese, have been considered in particular. The metal concentrations found do not exceed the legislation values for fruit juices and the EU Drinking Water Directive [EU Drinking Water Directive,] for human consumption. From the experiments, a relationship between dissolved metals in orange juice and the transferred charge is derived. In addition, a lifetime prediction of the treatment chamber caused by release of metals has been made.

Industrial relevance

This paper investigated the metal release in a stainless steel pulsed electric field (PEF) system by considering the effect on a real food product, in this case orange juice. This issue and the description about pulse shapes in Part I are of great importance for the commercialisation of the PEF technology. A relationship is determined between the dissolved metals in orange juice and the transferred charge. This parameter can be used during the development of larger PEF treatment systems for orange juice. For the described treatment system, a treatment chamber lifetime prediction is given that is based on the released metal concentrations. The metal concentrations are also compared to the Dutch and European legislation rules.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-345
JournalInnovative food science & emerging technologies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • PEF
  • orange juice
  • metal release
  • legislation
  • treatment chamber lifetime

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