Pulsed electric field inactivation in a microreactor

M.B. Fox

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Pulsed electric fields (PEF) is a novel, non-thermal pasteurization method which uses short, high electric field pulses to inactivate microorganisms. The advantage of a pasteurization method like PEF compared to regular heat pasteurization is that the taste, flavour, texture and nutritional value are much less affected. At the moment, the PEF process faces several challenges, to which microtechnology could be an aid. The small electrode distance in microtechnological reactors enables the use of relatively low voltages and therefore a better control of the pulses. Secondly, the temperature can be controlled because of the high surface-to-volume ratio. It is therefore possible to separate the electric field inactivation kinetics and heat inactivation kinetics. This thesis describes the design of a PEF microreactor, inactivation experiments on several model systems combined with a comparison to a single cell electroporation microtechnological chip and the conceptual design of anupscaledPEF microreactor.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Boom, Remko, Promotor
  • Bartels, Paul, Co-promotor
Award date16 Oct 2006
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs9789085045175
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • electric field
  • inactivation
  • food preservation
  • microorganisms


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