Packaging of PEF treated food
Pulsed electric fields (PEF) is designed to be applied before packaging*, so the packaging comes after the PEF processing.
This means that all kind of packaging materials can be considered suitable for PEF processed products including, for instance, pouches, trays, jars or bottles and made of any standard packaging material including plastics, cellulose or glass. This applies to all the potential applications of Pulsed Electric Fields for food processing (food presevation, component extraction, texture modification, process improvement, etc.)
Therefore, the choice of the packaging material will only depend on the food product, the desired storage conditions and the marketing/commercialization issues (and in other technologies/processes, if they are applied and constraining). Thus, standard criteria will be applied in order to choose the packaging of PEF treated foods including, among others:
- Durability (e.g. resistant to corrosion)
- Safety (e.g. no migration of components from the package to the product)
- Barrier (light and gases) properties
- Product compatibility
- Processing requirements
- Packaging equipment in place
- Ease of use
- Marketing issues (printability, transparency…)
- Legal issues
- Sustainability issues
*To the best of our knowledge there is only one scientific paper dealing with in-pack PEF treatment of food and, also to the best our knowledge, no further development has been done.