Recent findings in pulsed light disinfection
Nonthermal disinfection technologies are gaining increasing interest in the field of minimally processed food in order to improve the microbial safety or to extend the shelf life. Especially fresh-cut produce or meat and fish products are vulnerable to microbial spoilage, but, due to their sensitivity, they require gentle preservation measures. The application of intense light pulses of a broad spectral range comprising ultraviolet, visible and near infrared irradiation is currently investigated as a potentially suitable technology to reduce microbial loads on different food surfaces or in beverages. Considerable research has been performed within the last two decades, in which the impact of various process parameters or microbial responses as well as the suitability of pulsed light (PL) for food applications has been examined. This review summarizes the outcome of the latest studies dealing with the treatment of various foods including the impact of PL on food properties as well as recent findings about the microbicidal action and relevant process parameters.