Ultrasound is well known to have a significant effect on the rate of various processes in the food industry. Using ultrasound, full reproducible food processes can now be completed in seconds or minutes with high reproducibility, reducing the processing cost, simplifying manipulation and work-up, giving higher purity of the final product, eliminating post-treatment of waste water and consuming only a fraction of the time and energy normally needed for conventional processes. Several processes such as freezing, cutting, drying, tempering, bleaching, sterilization, and extraction have been applied efficiently in the food industry. The advantages of using ultrasound for food processing, includes: more effective mixing and micro-mixing, faster energy and mass transfer, reduced thermal and concentration gradients, reduced temperature, selective extraction, reduced equipment size, faster response to process extraction control, faster start-up, increased production, and elimination of process steps. Food processes performed under the action of ultrasound are believed to be affected in part by cavitation phenomena and mass transfer enhancement. This review presents a complete picture of current knowledge on application of ultrasound in food technology including processing, preservation and extraction. It provides the necessary theoretical background and some details about ultrasound the technology, the technique, and safety precautions. We will also discuss some of the factors which make the combination of food processing and ultrasound one of the most promising research areas in the field of modern food engineering. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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