Reaction Kinetics at High Pressure and Temperature: Effects on Milk Flavor Volatiles and on Chemical Compounds with Nutritional and Safety Importance in Several Foods
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Consumers demand, in addition to excellent eating quality, high standards of safety and nutrition in ready-to-eat food. This requires a continuous improvement in conventional processing technologies and the development of new alternatives. Prevailing technologies such as thermal processing can cause extensive and undesirable chemical changes in food composition while minimal processing strategies cannot eliminate all microbial pathogens. This review focuses on pressure-assisted thermal processing, a new alternative for shelf-stable foods. Its implementation requires an analysis of reaction kinetics at high pressure and elevated temperature. Acceleration of the inactivation of bacterial spores by the synergistic effect of pressure and temperature is expected to allow processing at lower temperature, shorter process time, or a combination of both. Therefore, thermal degradation of quality is expected to be lower than that of conventional thermal processes. However, few studies have focused on the effect of the conditions required for the inactivation of bacterial spores on the kinetics of chemical reactions degrading food quality, particularly at the high temperatures required for the processing of low-acid foods. © 2010 Springer Science + Business Media, LLC.