Microwave milk pasteurization without food safety risk
Keywords:primary processing, microwave, heat treatment, milk, Critical Controll Point (CCP)
According to nutrition science, milk and milk products are essential food for humans. The primary processing of milk includes its storage, separation, homogenization and the pasteurization process as well. The latter is a kind of heat treatment, which has been used to extend the storage life of food since the late 18th century. Although heat treatment of milk can be achieved through the use of microwave technology, the inhomogeneity of electromagnetic fields leads to an uneven distribution of temperature in the food products, therefore precluding their use in industry. The pasteurization operation is very often Critical Controll Point (CCP) according of food safety systems.
In recent years our research team has developed continuously operating heat treatment pilot-plant equipment, capable of measuring and contrasting the effects of different heat treatment methods, such as thermostat-controlled water baths and microwave energy, on liquid food products. We examined and compared protein, fat and bacterial content in samples of fresh cow milk with heat-treated cow milk samples. In addition, storage experiments were carried out under a microscope and recordings made of fat globules. Our results so far show that the microwave heat treatment is equivalent to the convection manner pasteurization technology, as we found no difference between the heat-treated products.
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