Quality and Safety Considerations of Incorporating Post-PEF Ageing into the Pulsed Electric Fields and Sous Vide Processing Chain
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The effect of pulsed electric fields (0.7 and 1.5 kV/cm, specific energy 90–100 kJ/kg) processing followed by post–pulsed electric field (PEF) ageing ( 0, 3, 7, 14 days) on the safety and quality attributes of sous vide–processed (60 °C/12 or 24 h) beef briskets was assessed. Ageing did not significantly reduce the hardness of sous vide–processed meat except for those PEF treated either at 0.7 kV/cm followed by sous vide processing for 12 h or at 1.5 kV/cm followed by sous vide processing for 24 h. Post-PEF ageing time had no effect on the collagen solubility of sous vide–processed meat. The effect of PEF treatment on hardness was much greater than the effect of ageing time, and sous vide processing time. Sous vide processing (12 or 24 h) for all treatments reduced both aerobic and lactic acid bacteria numbers to below the detection limit. Initial peptide concentrations during in vitro peptic digestibility were significantly (P < 0.05) different between some treatments; however no significant (P > 0.05) differences were observed in digestion rates between any treatment. Ageing of PEF-treated meat for a few days prior to sous vide processing may improve tenderness; however, these gains in quality may be offset by a greater total water loss and an increase in lipid oxidation.
KeywordsAgeing Sous vide processing Meat quality Digestibility Pulsed electric fields
The authors acknowledge the University of Otago for awarding a PhD scholarship to Amali Alahakoon.
This research was carried out as part of the Food Industry Enabling Technologies programme funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (contract MAUX1402).
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