Product Quality

The quality of the interior portions of treated products was successfully maintained. Sensory evaluations were made on citrus juice that was extracted from fruit heated in the range of 65 to 88°C. The results of triangle tests indicated no significant differences (p < 0.05) in flavor between treated and untreated product. Therefore, the Thermosafe process effectively pasteurizes the surface of the tested fruits and vegetables with no significant sensory damage to the interior. These fruits and vegetables are suitable for further processing into processed products such as juice but typically would not be suitable for the fresh food market [33].

21.3.2 University of Bristol Process

The University of Bristol investigated the use of pressurized steam, atmospheric pressure steam, and vacuum steam for reducing the bacterial contamination of meat and fruits and vegetables [34]. The process consists of three stages: (1) noncondensable gases (air) are removed with vacuum, (2) steam is applied to the surface of the produce to reach a pasteurization temperature, and (3) the surface is evaporatively cooled under vacuum to quench cooking. Steam, with its high latent heat of condensation, gives a rapid rise in the surface temperature which minimizes thermal exposure time.

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