This review is a comprehensive survey on the latest and more recent applications of ultrasound (US) on technological properties and bioactivity of food. Apart from a brief discussion on the fundamentals of ultrasound technology, examples have been set out on the physical effects of US on the improvement of food technological properties such as emulsification ability, solubility and texture, as well as on applications such as homogenization, viscosity alteration, extraction, drying, crystallization and defoaming. Among them, special emphasis has been placed on ultrasound assisted extraction (UAE). Nowadays, developments in ultrasonic equipment are such that it is feasible to consider commercial opportunities based on industrial-scale ultrasonic-aided extraction of bioactives, with worthwhile economics gains. Additionally, the initial restrictions associated to ultrasonically generated radicals in UAE have now been explored to enhance the functionality of some types of food. Finally, and despite the improved equipment design and the higher efficiencies of US systems currently used for other applications, a better understanding of the complex physicochemical mechanism of the action of high-intensity ultrasound and its effect on technological and functional properties of food would also contribute to reinforce the future presence of ultrasonic technologies in the food industry. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
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