Current approaches in water-assisted systems for foodborne microbial inactivation: A review

Gökmen G. G., Rathod N. B., Guzik P., Kulawik P., Akan T., Kişla D., ...More

TRENDS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, vol.143, no.1, pp.1-26, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier




Food-borne microbial contamination is a significant public health concern. The use of conventional thermal processing methods to ensure food safety can result in a loss of nutritional value and quality. Thus, water-assisted non-thermal systems have emerged as a promising alternative for reducing microbial contamination in food products.

Scope and approach

The latest research is explored in relation to ensuring food safety and nutritional value with water-assisted non-thermal systems for food-borne microbial inactivation. Covered water-assisted systems include ultrasound, pulsed electric field, high-pressure processing, electrolyzed water, ozonated water, ultraviolet light, water-assisted pulsed light, and plasma activated water.

Key findings and conclusions

The potential of water-assisted systems for improving food safety and quality is highlighted. The water-assisted systems have been found to be effective in reducing microbial contamination in vitro as well as in food products. Several challenges facing the food industry in terms of microbial contamination are also identified in the review, including the emergence of new pathogens and the development of resistance to existing antimicrobial agents. This review suggests that water-assisted systems have great potential for improving food safety and quality. Further research is warranted to fully understand the effectiveness of these systems compared to conventional thermal processing methods and to develop new or optimised water-assisted systems that can effectively reduce microbial contamination while maintaining the nutritional value and quality of food products.