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A microwave-sterilisation process for low-acid foods will be the keynote presentation at Total Processing and Packaging 2010, to take place at the Technology Innovations Theatre, the NEC, 25-27 May.

The microwave-sterilisation process, developed at Washington State University (WSU), dramatically extends food shelf life while preserving its nutrients, taste and texture and has already attracted interest from the US military and major food companies.

The process received FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval at the end of last year, the first ever for microwave sterilisation.

The technology works by immersing packaged food in pressurised hot water while simultaneously heating with microwaves.

Sterilisation takes place in a matter of minutes instead of the hours it takes in the traditional thermal process.

It is claimed this method produces foods of much higher quality than conventionally processed ready-to-eat products.

The system also has huge potential to be developed as a pasteurisation tool for items such as frozen products.

Total Processing and Packaging

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