Microbial decontamination of food by power ultrasound

B. Zhou, H. Lee, H. Feng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Power ultrasound has shown great promise as a new food processing and food preservation method, increasing the microbial inactivation rate while providing a high-quality end product. It is regarded as a non-thermal processing method, mainly due to the fact that its mode of action is based on cavitation-generated physical and chemical effects, as opposed to traditional thermal processes where heat is the major lethal factor in microbial destruction. Currently, research and development activities on the topic of power ultrasound as a food decontamination method focus on liquid food processing and product surface decontamination, with some studies looking into the effect of ultrasonication on product quality attributes. In this chapter, an effort is made to provide a brief introduction to the basic concepts of power ultrasound decontamination. Three modes of inactivation are introduced, combining ultrasound with other lethal factors for treatment of liquid food. The recent development in ultrasound-assisted surface decontamination of fresh produce is presented, and the advantages and limitations of power ultrasound are summarized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMicrobial Decontamination in the Food Industry
Subtitle of host publicationNovel Methods and Applications
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9780857090850
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Cavitation
  • Fresh produce
  • Inactivation
  • Liquid food
  • Power ultrasound
  • Surface decontamination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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